U.S. Stocks Gain


U.S. stocks rallied, extending a global advance, as world leaders agreed on measures to fight the recession and accounting regulators approved a rule change that may boost bank profits.

Caterpillar Inc., Walt Disney Co. and DuPont Co. climbed more than 7.5 percent amid growing speculation the world economy is stabilizing. Wells Fargo & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. gained at least 3.5 percent after the Financial Accounting Standards Board voted to relax so-called fair-value rules. Benchmark indexes jumped even as new claims for unemployment insurance benefits swelled to a 26-year high.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 2.9 percent to 834.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 216.48 points, or 2.8 percent, to 7,978.08. Both closed at their highest since the second week of February. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index rose 4.9 percent and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index soared 4.8 percent.

The Group of 20 policy makers, meeting in London, pledged more than $1 trillion in aid to revive the global economy. They boosted the resources of the International Monetary Fund and offered cash to revive trade, while sidestepping the question of whether to deliver more fiscal stimulus in their own economies. The G-20 also called for stricter limits on hedge funds, executive pay, credit-rating companies and risk-taking by banks.

General Electric Co., the biggest maker of power-plant turbines and jet engines, and Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest oil company, contributed the most to the S&P 500’s advance. Industrial companies added 5.5 percent collectively, the biggest gain among the index’s 10 main industry groups. Crude oil rose 8.8 percent to $52.64 a barrel in New York, and copper traded at an almost five-month high.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
4/2/2009 1:29:32 PM