U.S. Stocks Gain


U.S. stocks advanced for a second day after MasterCard Inc.’s profit topped estimates and an analyst said Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are healthy enough to repay government bailout funds.

MasterCard, the world’s second-largest credit-card network, jumped 13 percent. Goldman Sachs climbed 5.3 percent and Morgan Stanley added 6.4 percent to lead a rally in financials that lifted Bank of America Corp. from a 24-year low. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. rose more than 2 percent after January sales topped analyst estimates, while Akamai Technologies Inc. rallied 18 percent on better-than-expected profit. Cisco Systems Inc. climbed 3 percent even after lowering its earnings forecast.

The S&P 500 rose 13.61 points to 845.84 at close in New York. The index lost as much as 1.5 percent in early trading after initial jobless claims unexpectedly jumped to a 26-year high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 106.41 points, or 1.3 percent, to 8,063.

U.S. stocks slid yesterday as Kraft Foods Inc. and Walt Disney Co. reported profits that missed analysts’ estimates, triggering a sell-off in consumer shares. The S&P 500 has dropped 6.4 percent this year after earnings at companies from Microsoft Corp. to Procter & Gamble Co. disappointed investors and the economy shrank at the fastest pace in 26 years.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
2/5/2009 1:28:28 PM