Facebook surge drives US markets higher

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

(Close): Wall Street ended higher on Thursday, boosted by a 15% surge in Facebook shares and a bounce in oil prices.

The social network posted its biggest one-day rise since 2013 to $109.11 after more than doubling fourth quarter profits.

However, eBay sank 12.4% after forecasting weaker-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit.

Oil prices rose as Russia said it would meet with Opec nations.

There were hopes that an agreement to cut global oil output could be struck to help bolster prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.8% to 16,069 points.

The S&P 500 was up 0.5% to 1,893 points, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed almost 0.9% to 4,506 points.

The prospect of a joint effort between Russia and Opec, a group of large oil-producing nations, sent Brent crude up 4.3% to $34.52 and US crude up 4.5% to $33.76.

As a result energy stocks rose, with ExxonMobil gaining 2.3%, while Chevron shares were up 3.1%.

Construction equipment maker Caterpillar added 4.7% - the biggest Dow riser - after reporting a better-than-expected profit outlook.

Cautious Fed

On Wednesday, the US central bank said would not raise interest rates, but was "closely monitoring" global economic conditions. The Federal Reserve raised rates for the first time in almost a decade last month.

Since the Fed's action in December, oil has continued to plunged, stock markets have swung wildly and investors have become more concerned China's economy - a major driver of global growth - is losing momentum.

The Fed said US growth had slowed as exports fell because of the strong dollar.