U.S Stocks Rose

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 14 percent, while Exxon Mobil Corp. added 10 percent. NRG Energy Inc. surged 29 percent, the most since emerging from bankruptcy in 2003, on Exelon Corp.'s offer to buy the power producer for $6.2 billion. Energy companies, the industry with the highest estimated earnings growth this year, led the 30 percent drop in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index from Aug. 31 to Oct. 10. The group rallied 11 percent today.

The S&P 500 rallied 44.84, or 4.8 percent, to 985.39. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 413.21, or 4.7 percent, to 9,265.43, with all 30 of its companies increasing. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 58.74, or 3.4 percent, to 1,770.03. More than five stocks advanced for each that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.

Canadian stocks rose for a second day, building on the main index's biggest weekly gain in six years, as commodity producers and financial companies climbed on higher crude-oil prices and lower borrowing costs. The Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index rose 7.2 percent to 10,254.4.

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 8.36 percent to 39,441.

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
10/20/2008 1:31:07 PM