Stock markets recover...Oil prices drop... Fed official welcomes new openness

Thursday - 4/4/2013, 6:20pm EDT

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are up on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average has regained half of what it lost yesterday as buyers returned to the market. The blue-chip index rose nearly 56 points, or 0.4 percent today, to close at 14,606. It fell 111 points the day before on weak economic reports. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 6 points to 1,559. The Nasdaq also rose 6 points.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of oil has dropped again. Crude oil futures prices ended lower on the New York Mercantile Exchange today. The near-month contract for the benchmark grade fell $1.19 -- closing at $93.26 a barrel.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The No. 2 official at the Federal Reserve says she hopes the old days of extreme secrecy surrounding the Federal Reserve are gone forever. Janet Yellen, vice chair of the Fed, says the Fed's old policy of not even telling financial markets when it had changed a key interest rate has been replaced by one of using communications to enhance interest-rate policies.

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's central bank is taking aggressive action to get consumers and companies to borrow and spend. It plans to flood Japan's financial system with more money. The move will also drive down the value of the yen. A cheaper currency will make Japanese goods less costly for Americans and other foreigners. And it'll make U.S. and other exports more expensive in Japan.

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) -- Hewlett-Packard says chairman Ray Lane is stepping down, two weeks after a near ousting by shareholders at the company's annual meeting. Shareholders are upset by a series of mistakes that have damaged the company's share price, including the $8.8 billion write-down on the $10 billion acquisition of business software maker Autonomy in 2011.

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