U.S. stocks extended gains by the middle of the session on Thursday as crude oil appeared to stabilize. Oil traded at just over $28 a barrel, so far unaffected by a weekly read on inventories that showed a build of four million barrels. Lower oil prices benefited Southwest Airlines (LUV) which reported profit in its fourth quarter nearly triple a year earlier. The airline said a 37 percent decline in fuel expenses helped to push quarterly earnings higher. Deutsche Bank (DB) tumbled after announcing it expects an annual loss of billions of dollars for 2015, compared with a net profit a year earlier. Germany's largest bank blamed the wider-than-expected loss on further litigation charges. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from Wall Street.
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