U.S. Stocks Gain

U.S. stocks gained, recovering half of yesterday’s slide, as higher energy and metal prices triggered a rally in commodity producers that overshadowed concern Congress won’t rescue the nation’s auto industry.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. jumped 23 percent and Peabody Energy Corp. rallied 19 percent as crude and coal increased. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., the largest publicly traded copper producer, climbed 16 percent. General Motors Corp. reversed a gain of more than 6 percent and Ford Motors Co. pared most of its advance as Republican senators vowed to stall the rescue bill.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index increased 1.2 percent to 899.22, with producers of energy and raw materials leading gains among 10 industry groups. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 70.09 points, or 0.8 percent, to 8,761.42. The MSCI World Index of 23 developed markets rose 1.3 percent to 899.09.

The S&P 500 extended its rebound from an 11-year low to 21 percent this week, marking a technical end to a 14-month bear market, as President-elect Barack Obama stepped up proposals to pull the economy out of a recession. The index has tumbled 43 percent from its 2007 record as the collapse of the subprime mortgage market curbed earnings for five straight quarters.

Most European stocks advanced as a rally in commodity producers and carmakers offset declines in media companies on lower forecasts from Electronic Arts Inc.

The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index added less than 0.1 percent to 205.37. The measure has slumped 44 percent this year as policy makers and governments worldwide introduce measures to cushion economies from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. More than $31 trillion has been erased from the value of global equities and credit losses and writedowns at banks and insurers are approaching $1 trillion.

National benchmarks gained in 11 of the 18 western European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.5 percent, while France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.7 percent. Germany’s DAX added 0.5 percent.

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
12/10/2008 3:05:14 PM