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Closing Bell: Halliburton to Cut 5,000 Jobs; U.S. Stocks Rally

Oil again dictated market direction with a sudden pivot in crude prices turning markets buoyant by the final hour of trading on Thursday.

Oil again dictated market direction with a sudden pivot in crude prices turning markets buoyant by the final hour of trading. Crude rebounded on reports Russia and OPEC members Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Qatar would meet in March to further negotiate a production freeze. A tough commodities market continued to challenge major oil companies including Halliburton (HAL) which announced it was cutting 5,000 jobs, roughly 8% of its workforce. J.C. Penney (JCP) climbed on high hopes heading into its earnings report Friday morning. Better-than-expected earnings from fellow retailers Best Buy (BBY) and Kohl's (KSS) helped to boost expectations. Salesforce (CRM) climbed on a stronger outlook, overcoming some of the economic headwindsthat have challenged its competitors.

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