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US stocks gain after Ukraine peace deal

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

Wall Street stocks rose in early trade Thursday as hopes about a ceasefire agreement for Ukraine offset disappointing US retail sales and unemployment data.

About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,929.41, up 67.27 points (0.38 percent).

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 12.76 (0.62 percent) at 2,081.29, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 33.28 (0.69 percent) to 4,834.46.

Kiev and pro-Russian rebels agreed to a peace roadmap early Thursday after marathon negotiations in Minsk involving the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine.

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others said much work remains ahead to ensure the deal is successful.

US retail sales fell for a second straight month in January, this time by 0.8 percent, in part due to lower receipts from gasoline sales as prices continued to fall.

The Labor Department reported that new claims for US unemployment insurance jumped last week to back above the 300,000 line.

Dow component and information-technology giant Cisco soared 8.0 percent after reporting that second-quarter earnings surged 68 percent to $2.24 billion.

American Express, another Dow component, sank 5.8 percent on news its venture to provide exclusive credit cards at Costco Wholesale stores would end in March 2016. American Express sought to extend the venture, but said it was "unable to reach terms that would have made economic sense for our Company and shareholders."

Costco shares were unchanged.

Online travel company Expedia jumped 13.2 percent on news it will buy rival Orbitz Worldwide for about $1.6 billion in a move that further consolidates the sector. Orbitz bolted 20.9 percent higher.

TripAdvisor, another online travel site, jumped 19.0 percent after reporting an 80 percent rise in fourth-quarter net income to $36 million.

Electric-car maker Tesla Motors fell 6.2 percent as it reported a fourth-quarter loss of $107.6 million, compared with a loss of $16.3 million a year ago. The results were dragged down by delays in auto deliveries.

Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury dipped to 1.99 percent from 2.00 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year held steady at 2.57 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140701/egypt-arrests-pro-morsi-leaders-ahead-anniversary-0