U.S. stocks gained steam on Friday as oil prices broke $41 a barrel, hitting a new 2016 high. The rally was sparked by hopes that some of the biggest oil producers would agree to a production freeze. Meanwhile, China pushed its yuan currency higher against the dollar on Friday, by over a half a percentage point. This was its biggest one-day move since last November. 'While it may give them a little bit less fire power when it comes to exports, I think in general, this is a good sign,' said David Lebovitz, global markets strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. 'It gives them a little more flexibility from a monetary policy standpoint.' Finally, Starwood Hotels (HOT) , a holding of Jim Cramer's charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS, has reached a deal to be acquired by China-based Anbang for $78 a share. This is $2 more than the company's previous bid. Starwood is set to dissolve its prior merger deal with Marriott International (MAR) , which was worth less. TheStreet's Scott Gamm reports from New York.
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