Wall Street rises on commodity gains

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

(Close): Wall Street markets closed higher on Wednesday, led by rising commodity prices that helped metal and oil producers' stocks rise.

The Dow Jones climbed 254.55 points, or 1.57%, to 16,450.96.

The S&P 500 rose 30.99, or 1.63%, to 1,926.57, while the Nasdaq gained 98.11, or 2.21%, to 4,534.06.

Oil stock rose after Iran met with other crude-producing nations to discuss possibly limiting output to combat falling prices.

Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela agreed to maintain output at January levels if other oil-producing countries did the same.

Chevron shares rose 4.1% and ConocoPhillips rose 3.5%.

Copper producer Freeport McMoRan's shares surged 12.4%, while aluminium producer Alcoa climbed 5%.

Priceline was one of the big winners on the Nasdaq. Its shares surged 11.2% after the company announced that fourth-quarter profits rose to $504.3m.

Economic data

Minutes released by the US Federal Reserve suggested that the bank is unlikely to raise interest rates when it meets in March.

A stream of data released on Wednesday showed a mixed view of the US economy.

Construction of new homes fell to an eight-month low in January. Industrial output rose 0.9% in January, after falling 0.7% in December because of unseasonably warm weather and a strong dollar.

The US producer price index edged up in January after falling in December. Excluding energy and food prices - which are highly volatile - the index rose 0.2% compared to December. The increase supports earlier assertions by the Federal Reserve that inflation will slowly increase.