U.S. Stocks Gain

U.S. stocks rose, adding to the Dow Jones Industrial Average's best weekly gain in five years, after Halliburton Co.'s profit topped estimates and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke endorsed an economic stimulus package.

Halliburton, the world's second-largest oilfield-services provider, jumped 8.4 percent, while Exxon Mobil Corp. added 4.8 percent. NRG Energy Inc. surged as much as 28 percent, the most since the company reorganized in 2003, on Exelon Corp.'s offer to buy the power producer for $6.2 billion. Apple Inc. and Research In Motion Ltd. led a drop in technology shares after an analyst cut sales and profit forecasts.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 18.22, or 2 percent, to 958.77 at 12:06 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 148.14, or 1.67 percent, to 9000.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 11.62, or 0.6 percent. Almost two stocks rose for each that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.

Canadian stocks advanced for a second day, led by EnCana Corp. and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., as the cost of interbank borrowing declined and oil prices rose. The Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index rose 3.42 percent to 9,889 at 12:21 p.m. in Toronto.

Brazilian stocks gained the most in a week on speculation the government will take measures to boost the economy and ease the credit crisis including providing support to the country's battered homebuilders. The Bovespa gained for the first time in four days, rising 4.7 percent to 38,096 at 12:21 p.m. New York time.

U.K. stocks rose for a second day after a rally in base metals and oil prices boosted shares of commodity producers. The FTSE 100 Index gained 219.66, or 5.4 percent.

Japan stocks rose for a second day on speculation corporate profits will beat analyst estimates and after the rout in global equity markets made shares cheap relative to earnings. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 311.77, or 3.6 percent, to close at 9,005.59 in Tokyo.

Australia's benchmark stock index, the S&P/ASX 200 Index, rose 4.30 percent to 4142.30. Gains in the S&P/ASX 200 Index were led by Bhp Billiton Ltd, Commonwealth Bank Of Australia and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.

India's Sensitive Index rose as some investors judged the benchmark's three-day, 13 percent drop excessive. Infosys Technologies Ltd. led gains amongst the biggest companies. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index, or Sensex, rose 247.74, or 2.5 percent, to 10,223.09.

China's stocks gained on speculation the slowest growth in five years will prompt the government to accelerate efforts to bolster the world's fourth-largest economy. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated shares traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen, added 63.47, or 3.5 percent, to 1,896.73 at the close, the most since October 13

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg.com
10/20/2008 9:27:28 AM