Banks push US stocks higher

April 10th, 2009 - 7:11 am ICT by IANS  

New York, April 10 (DPA) A rally of bank shares pushed US stock indices up Thursday after Wells Fargo reported record earnings.
Wells Fargo reported a first-quarter profit of $3 billion, surpassing analysts’ expectations. In the final quarter of 2008, the bank had reported a loss of $2.3 billion and was among the US banks to receive aid from the government in the fallout from the world financial crisis.

Its shares rose 32 percent, while other major financial firms rose on reports that banks would get good marks in government-conducted stress tests of whether they can survive a further downturn of the economy.

Bank of America shares rose 35 percent, and JP Morgan Chase & Co was up 19 percent, Bloomberg financial news reported.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 246.27 points, or 3.1 percent, to 8,083.38. It added 0.8 percent for the shortened four-day trading week. Markets are closed for Good Friday.

The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 31.4 points, or 3.8 percent, to 856.56, putting on 1.7 percent for the week. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 61.88 points, or 3.9 percent, to 1,652.54.

The US currency rose against the euro to 75.95 euro cents from 75.34 euro cents Wednesday. The dollar gained against the Japanese currency to 100.36 yen from 99.76 yen.

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