U.S. Stocks Rise

U.S. stocks rose for the first time in three days as investors speculated the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates after unemployment surged, General Motors Corp. warned it is running out of cash and pending home sales dropped.

Exxon Mobil Corp., the biggest oil company, climbed 6.3 percent and Alcoa Inc., the nation's largest aluminum producer, rallied 9.1 percent as traders bet the Fed will cut the benchmark rate to 0.5 percent at its meeting on Dec. 16. GM, the biggest automaker, lost 9.2 percent. U.S. stock indexes briefly pared gains in the final hour of trading after Barack Obama said there is no quick fix for the economy.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 25.78 points, or 2.9 percent, to 930.66. The gauge trimmed its weekly decline to 3.9 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 248.11, or 2.9 percent, to 8,943.89 after losing almost 10 percent in the previous two days. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 2.4 percent to 1,647.4. Three stocks advanced for each that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.

European stocks gained as higher copper and oil buoyed commodity shares and investors speculated today's jobs report will give the Federal Reserve more room to lower interest rates.

National benchmarks advanced 13 of the 18 western European markets. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 2.17 percent with Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Rio Tinto Group climbing. Germany's DAX added 2.59 percent, while France's CAC 40 increased 2.42 percent.

Japan stocks fell a second day, paring a weekly gain, as the slowing global economy and stronger yen prompted Toyota Motor Corp. and Olympus Corp. to cut profit targets by more than half. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 316.14, or 3.6 percent, to close at 8,583.00 in Tokyo, paring an earlier 7.1 percent decline.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index slumped 2.4 percent, led by Rio Tinto Group after Moody's Investor's Services downgraded the stock, extending yesterday's 4.3 percent decline.

Indian stocks gained for the first time in three days, led by Reliance Industries Ltd. after some investors judged recent declines excessive. The benchmark Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index, or Sensex, rose 230.07, or 2.4 percent, to close at 9,964.29.

China’s stocks rose after a report a unit of UBS AG bought 300 million yuan ($44 million) of mainland equities lifted optimism that recent selloffs amid a global rout are near an end. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated A shares listed on China’s two exchanges, advanced 28.05, or 1.7 percent, to 1,677.83 at the close. Eight of the 10 industry groups rose.

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg.com
11/7/2008 1:20:59 PM