Money Morning Staff Reports
Big gains in the U.S. financial sector helped stocks add more than 600 points in their first three-day winning streak since late January, which puts the Dow Jones Industrial Average back up above the psychologically important 7,000 level.
The Dow gained 239.66 points, or 3.46%, to close at 7,170.06 yesterday (Thursday). The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 29.38 points, or 4.07%, to close at 750.74, while the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index actually advanced 3.97%, or 54.46%, to finish at 1,426.10.
Several factors helped share prices yesterday. An accounting board told Congress it may recommend a let-up in accounting rules for troubled banks. Industrial giant General Electric Co. (GE) saw its credit rating get cut – but not as much as was feared. Retail sales were better than analysts had forecast. And carmaker General Motors Corp. (GM) said it will not need a previously requested $2 billion federal loan.
For the week, so far, the Dow is up 8.2%, the S&P 500 is up 9.9% and the Nasdaq is up 10.2%. For the year, however, the Dow is down 18.3%, the S&P is off 16.9% and the Nasdaq is down 9.6%.