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"There are now clear signs that Europe is turning," said Jurrien Timmer, a portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments. The "U.S. could underperform Europe here, or may trade sideways while Europe advances."
While the S&P 500 has advanced 18.2 percent this year, Europe’s biggest stock indexes have gained less. Germany’s benchmark DAX index has climbed 11 percent, France’s CAC-40 has gained 13 percent, and Italy’s FTSE MIB has risen 7.3 percent.
In commodities trading, the price of oil edged up 2 cents to $106.85 a barrel. Gold rose $12.90, or 1 percent, to $1,333.40 an ounce.
The dollar rose a fraction against the euro and dropped against the Japanese yen.
Among stocks making big moves:
— SeaWorld, which made its stock market debut in April, slumped $1.37, or 3.8 percent, to $34.94 after the company reported a loss for the second quarter as foul weather and higher ticket prices kept crowds away.
— Steinway Musical Instruments jumped $3.02, or 7.9 percent, to $41.29 after agreeing to be purchased for $499 million by the investment firm Paulson & Co.
AP Markets Writer Ken Sweet contributed to this story.
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