Energy stocks surge in March as China hits new lows

Energy stocks surged Thursday, fueled by a strong U.S. economy and surging energy prices.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite index both surged to record highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 13.9 points, or 0.9%, to 23,788.93.

The Nasdaq rose 16.6 points, to 7,891.93 and the S&P 500 gained 1.5 points, at 2,973.43.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note climbed 3/32 in price to yield 2.847%.

The Dow rose 11.2 points, setting a record for a new intraday high, to 2,879.19.

The U.K. S&p index of small-cap stocks rose 1.9% to 5,906.83.

The FTSE 100 added 0.3%, or 0,7, to 6,865.30.

The Russell 2000 index of UK shares rose 2.4%, or 1.3%.

The Australian dollar lost 3.3% to 99.84 pence.

Aussie and New Zealand dollar strengthened against the greenback.

The European Central Bank’s monetary policy meeting is scheduled for Thursday.

The Bank of Japan on Thursday cut its benchmark interest rate by one percentage point to 0.25%, to 0% from 0.50%.

The Bank for International Settlements cut its key lending rate by half a percentage point from 1% to 0%.

The European Union on Thursday approved a package of measures to ease the bloc’s sovereign debt crisis.

European Central Banks chief Jens Weidmann said the measures were aimed at preventing a contagion from spreading through the eurozone.

The United States on Thursday imposed new sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Crimea, a move the Kremlin said was retaliation for the sanctions imposed over Ukraine.

The White House said the new sanctions are part of a package to counter a Russian “aggression” in the Ukraine.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 20.2, or 1%, to 22,542.55.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index of stocks rose 6.9, or 2%, to 2.862.55, while the Nasdaq index of listed companies rose 4.7, or 3.4% to 2,.979.23.

The 10-day Treasury note rose 1/32 to yield 3.822%.

The 10,000-share index of long-term US Treasuries advanced 8.2%, or 4.3, to yield 5.565.94.

The 30-day treasury note fell 4.6% to yield 7.621.50.

The Swiss franc weakened against the euro against the dollar, and the euro gained against the yen, after the European Central Monetary Union’s governing council said it would start discussing new measures.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll showed Americans are more likely to say their bank accounts are safe from fraud now than they were in June.

Americans were more likely in June to say they had a bank account with no money to lose compared with 45% in June, according to the poll, which was conducted between June 5 and June 15.

On Thursday, a new report showed U.N. officials have approved the sale of more than 3,000 of the 1,300 acres of U.n. land in Africa, as part of an effort to boost the continent’s economy.

The report also found that the U.s. government is preparing to spend $15 billion to upgrade the country’s water infrastructure.

The new land is needed for projects including new pipelines and transmission lines to water resources.