U.S. Stocks Gain

U.S. stocks gained for the first time in three days as better-than-estimated earnings at Hewlett- Packard Co. and Home Depot Inc. spurred optimism that some companies' earnings will hold up amid the recession.

Hewlett-Packard, the biggest personal-computer maker, jumped as much as 15 percent to lead a rally in technology shares. Home Depot Inc., the largest home-improvement retailer, added 5.7 percent. Citigroup Inc. dropped 5.4 percent after Deutsche Bank AG analyst Mike Mayo said the bank may report a 2009 loss as revenue declines and credit costs rise.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index increased 7.01 points, or 0.8 percent, to 857.76 at 10:26 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 88.41 points, or 1.1 percent, to 8,361.99 and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.2 percent to 1,485.11. About four stocks rose for every three that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.

European stocks rose after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said he saw signs the credit market was improving and Hewlett-Packard Co. reported better- than-expected earnings, easing concern the recession will snuff out profits.

The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index added 0.3 percent at 200.99 at 3:54 p.m. in London, reversing an earlier decline of as much as 2.2 percent. National benchmark indexes retreated in 13 of the 18 markets in western Europe. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.7 percent, and France's CAC 40 gained 0.6 percent. Germany's DAX added 0.3 percent.

Asian stocks fell for a second day, led by financial and technology companies, on heightening concern that the global recession is worsening.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 3.1 percent to 80.21 as of 7:18 p.m. in Tokyo, extending yesterday's 0.4 percent drop. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average slumped 2.3 percent to 8,328.41. Mitsubishi Estate Co. led property developers lower after the Nikkei newspaper said the nation's condominium market will be weak in 2009.

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg.com
11/18/2008 8:21:29 AM