U.S. Stocks Post Best Rally of 2009


Stocks around the world staged the biggest rally of the year after Citigroup Inc. said it was having its best quarter since 2007, spurring speculation the worst of the banking crisis is over.

Citigroup jumped 38 percent as Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit wrote in an internal memorandum that the bank, which reported five straight quarterly losses, was profitable in the first two months of 2009. JPMorgan Chase & Co. climbed 23 percent and Bank of America Corp. surged 28 percent as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke urged an overhaul of financial regulations. General Electric Co. rose 20 percent, its steepest advance since at least 1980.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rebounded from a 12-year low, increasing 6.4 percent to 719.6 as all 10 industry groups rose more than 2.3 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 379.44 points, or 5.8 percent, to 6,926.49. The MSCI World Index of 23 developed markets rose 5.1 percent. The S&P 500 and Dow posted their best gains since November, while the MSCI World had its steepest rally since December.

The S&P 500 Financials Index, which sank to an almost 17- year low on March 6, rebounded 16 percent today for its steepest advance since Nov. 24. The gauge of 81 banks, insurers and investment companies has lost 81 percent since its February 2007 record. U.S. government programs meant to stabilize the banking system have totaled $11.6 trillion in the past 19 months. The funding may spark a rebound in stocks through April, investor Marc Faber told Bloomberg Television yesterday.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
3/10/2009 1:22:39 PM