U.S. Stocks Advance

U.S. stocks advanced, led by banks, as Congress neared an agreement on a $700 billion bailout of financial institutions to help revive lending and credit markets.

Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. added as much as 8.4 percent after Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd said Republicans and Democrats agreed on a ``set of principles'' for a financial-rescue package. Nike Inc. gained 9.8 percent as the world's largest athletic-shoe maker said earnings fell less than analysts estimated. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. rose 3.7 percent after its forecast beat projections.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index increased 24.13 points, or 2 percent, to 1,210 at 4 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 198, or 1.83 percent, to 11,023.18. Five stocks rose for every two that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.

Nine of 10 industries in the S&P 500 advanced. The market extended its rally after Dodd, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, said the principles will allow Congress to ``act expeditiously'' and ``send a signal to markets.'' President George W. Bush said last night that a rescue plan for financial firms is needed to avert a ``long and painful'' recession.

The S&P 500 is down 17 percent this year on concern more than $520 billion in credit losses and writedowns at financial firms globally and a slowing economy are curbing profits. Speculation that lawmakers will derail the White House's plan to rescue banks pushed stocks lower yesterday, erasing 70 percent of the gains the benchmark index for U.S. equities posted on Sept. 18 and 19 after the bailout plan was proposed.

Canadian stocks rose for the first time in four days, led by energy companies Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and Interoil Corp., after oil and gas prices jumped on a drop in U.S. fuel inventories. The Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index climbed 0.4 percent to 12,556.54 at 3:36 p.m. in Toronto.

Brazilian stocks rose for a second day as a drop in unemployment bolstered optimism that the global credit crisis hasn't slowed growth in Latin America's biggest economy. The Bovespa index gained 3.7 percent to 51,694.57 at 12:51 p.m. New York time.

Earlier, U.K. stocks advanced for the first time in four days, led by banks, as investors speculated the U.S. Congress will come to a decision on a bailout plan soon. The FTSE 100 broke a three-day losing streak to close up 2 per cent, or 101.45 points, at 5197.02.

Indian stocks
fell, with the benchmark index declining to its lowest in a week, on concern U.S. growth may slow and hurt developing economies. The Sensex slid 145.34 points, or 1.1 percent, to 13,547.18.

China's stocks
surged on speculation state-owned companies will be among those taking advantage of newly relaxed shareholding rules to encourage share purchases and revive the world's second-worst performing equities market. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated A shares listed on China's two exchanges, surged 84.68, or 4 percent, to 2,223.53 at the close.

Japan shares fell as a drop in auto shipments dragged on export growth and Re-plus Inc.'s bankruptcy reignited credit concerns. The Nikkei 225 lost 108.50, or 0.9 percent, to close at 12,006.53 in Tokyo.

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg.com
9/25/2008 1:15:24 PM