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At the open: Investors say "Whew!" Add to ...



North American stocks rose at the start of trading on Friday, with investors feeling upbeat about the results of the U.S. government stress tests on financial firms and the better-than expected look at the employment situation in Canada and the United States.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 104 points or 1.2 per cent, to 8514. The broader S&P 500 rose 11 points or 1.2 per cent, to 918.

Financials were mixed, following Thursday evening's release of stress tests, which outlined which banks needed to raise additional capital. Already, most banks have announced plans for how they will raise that money, ranging from converting preferred shares into common shares, to tapping the equity market. Citigroup Inc. rose 5.3 per cent and Bank of America Corp. rose 6.3 per cent. However, Wells Fargo & Co. and Morgan Stanley each fell 2.8 per cent.

In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index rose 159 points or 1.6 per cent, to 10,126 - catapulting the index back above the 10,000-point threshold after it fell below the mark during Thursday's selloff.

Financials were strong, with Bank of Montreal up 1.6 per cent and Manulife Financial Corp. up 3.3 per cent. However, the real leaders were energy producers, which surged after the price of crude oil rose more than $1 (U.S.), closing in on $58 a barrel. Suncor Energy Inc. rose 4.3 per cent and Canadian Oil Sands Trust rose 4.2 per cent.

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