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By Caroline Valetkevitch
The S&P energy index <. SPNY> jumped 2 percent, leading gains among S&P sectors. Optimism about upcoming U. S. earnings also helped U. S. stocks, which resumed their 2018 rally to hit record closing highs.
"The unifying factor of today's move and this whole week is a heightened confidence in the pace of economic activity. That helps explain the demand picture which has oil up at $70," said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman, in New York.
Brent has gained 5 percent since the beginning of the year, picking up from its late-year surge. U.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <. DJI> rose 205.6 points, or 0.81 percent, to 25,574.73, the S&P 500 <. SPX> gained 19.33 points, or 0.70 percent, to 2,767.56 and the Nasdaq Composite <. IXIC> added 58.21 points, or 0.81 percent, to 7,211.78.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <. FTEU3> lost 0.26 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <. MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.38 percent.
The ECB should revisit its communication stance in early 2018, accounts of its December meeting showed, suggesting that policymakers could soon start preparing markets for the end of the bank's massive stimulus.
The dollar index <. DXY> fell 0.44 percent, with the euro
U. S. Treasury yields fell after China disputed a report that its government officials had recommended the country slow or halt its purchases of the U. S. bonds. The Bloomberg News report had lifted yields on the 10-year government bond to a 10-month high on Wednesday.
Benchmark 10-year notes