First Three-Day Rally Since January Puts Dow Back up Above 7,000

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%.