U.S. Stocks Gain


U.S. stocks gained, led by financial companies, as lawmakers said Congress will reach an agreement on a $789 billion plan to revive the economy and investors snapped up bank shares trading near the lowest valuation on record.

Bank of America Corp. added 9.2 percent and Citigroup Inc. climbed 10 percent after plunges of at least 15 percent yesterday helped drag the KBW Bank Index to almost its lowest price-to-book ratio in at least 16 years. General Electric Co. and Microsoft Corp. gained more than 2 percent as 7 of 10 industries in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced.

The S&P 500 added 0.8 percent to 833.74. The index plunged 4.9 percent yesterday, the most since Barack Obama’s inauguration, as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner detailed plans to save the financial industry. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 50.65 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,939.53, while the Russell 2000 Index increased 0.5 percent to 447.95.

Stocks gained as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters that negotiators, following weeks of debate in Washington, reached middle ground” and Congress may vote on the stimulus plan within days. Benchmark indexes fluctuated earlier as a retreat in energy shares offset the advance in banks.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
2/11/2009 2:15:53 PM