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Stocks rebound on ECB talk

US stocks rose and the euro bounced off lows against the US dollar on Friday after sources said the European Central Bank is considering setting yield band targets under a new bond-buying program.

Shares had earlier come under pressure on renewed worries about Greece and uncertainty over how Europe will attempt to bring down Spain's borrowing costs. Speculation has grown in recent weeks that the ECB will soon start buying Spanish and Italian bonds.

A bull and a bear styrofoam figurine. Credit: REUTERS

The ECB is considering setting yield band targets under a new bond-buying program to allow it to keep its strategy shielded and avoid speculators trying to cash in, central bank sources told Reuters on Friday.

Setting a band is an option gaining favor among central bankers, but the decision would not be made before the ECB's Sept. 6 policy meeting, the sources said.

It wasn't clear how wide the band would or how the ECB would decide when to intervene in the bond markets to bring down borrowing costs.

In recent sales of sovereign debt, Italy and Spain have been hit with crippling borrowing costs.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 81.13 points, or 0.62 percent, at 13,138.59. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 7.06 points, or 0.50 percent, at 1,409.14. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 16.65 points, or 0.55 percent, at 3,070.05.

The MSCI global stock index was little changed at 324.47 points.

Germany and France want Greece to stay in the euro zone but Athens must meet its commitments, German Chancellor Angela

Merkel said after meeting Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

Friday's US economic data gave mixed signals about whether the Fed would act soon to bolster the stalled economic recovery.

New orders for long-lasting US manufactured goods surged in July, but a gauge of planned business spending decline for a second straight month, pointing to slowing growth in manufacturing.

Hopes for economic stimulus had grown after minutes from the Fed's latest meeting showed policymakers might deliver another round of stimulus “fairly soon” unless the economy improves considerably.

“There is some volatility at the core, but the overall feeling is that the economy is still trending in the right direction,” said Ravi Bharadwaj, market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington.

“For now, based on the string of reports we've had so far, there doesn't seem to be a need of further quantitative easing from the Fed.”

European shares rose 0.2 percent to 1091.06 points.

The euro fell 0.2 percent to $1.2542, off a session low of $1.2481. - Reuters

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