US markets close higher with help from energy shares
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(Close): US markets closed higher on Thursday, buoyed by energy shares which rose along with the oil price.
General Electric shares rose nearly 3% on reports it was planning to sell its real estate holdings.
US media, citing sources, said the firm was close to selling nearly $30bn (£20bn) worth of investments in office buildings and other commercial property.
Investors had fretted that GE's investments in real estate - made through its banking arm, GE Capital - were too risky.
Metals business Alcoa kicked off the earnings season after the bell on Wednesday, giving a mixed earnings report which led to its shares falling 3.3%.