US stocks surge nearly 2 per cent on oil rally, hopes of Greek deal

The Wall Street Bull, officially called Charging Bull, is covered in snow after recent snowstorms in New York City. -- PHOTO: AFP 
The Wall Street Bull, officially called Charging Bull, is covered in snow after recent snowstorms in New York City. -- PHOTO: AFP 

NEW YORK (AFP) - The Dow gained more than 300 points Tuesday as US stocks rallied on higher oil prices and greater optimism over a deal to renegotiate Greece's debt.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,662.10, up 301.06 points (1.73 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 powered higher by 28.93 (1.43 per cent) to 2,049.78, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 51.05 (1.09 per cent) at 4,727.74.

US oil prices surged seven percent to the highest level of the year, adding some relief to markets that fear the steep drop in the commodity signals major global economic problems.

Greek officials are pushing the idea of debt swaps that would avoid the need for creditors to accept 'haircuts' on the country's 315-billion-euro (S$484.36 billion) foreign debt. European equities jumped on hopes of a resolution.

Despite the market's sunny performance, some analysts were sceptical the market had banished fears about deflation in the eurozone and weak global growth.

"It's good to enjoy the rally while we can," said Mace Blicksilver, director of Marblehead Asset Management. "But a lot of things that worry the market are still ahead of us."