US markets rise on earnings, stress tests

April 25th, 2009 - 7:33 am ICT by IANS  

New York, April 25 (DPA) Major US stock indices rose Friday amid a second day of company earnings that beat analysts’ estimates, but the rally to end the week was not enough to continue six straight weeks of gains.
Ford Motor Co reported a smaller-than-expected $1.4-billion loss for the first quarter amid an almost 40-percent drop in car sales. American Express Co reported a $447-million profit over the first three months.

Bank stocks climbed as the top 19 banks in the US were given the results Friday of a two-month government review - so-called stress tests - of their financial health.

Though the findings will only be released publicly next month, the Federal Reserve said that the banks currently have cash “well in excess of the amounts required to be well capitalised”.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 119.23 points, or 1.5 percent, to 8,076.29. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 14.31 points, or 1.68 percent, to 866.23. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 42.08 points, or 2.55 percent, to 1,694.29.

For the week, the Dow fell 0.7 percent and the S&P 500 0.4 percent. Stocks have surged more than 20 percent since reaching a 12-year low in early March, amid some indications that the pace of a global downturn may be slowing.

The US currency dropped against the euro to 75.52 euro cents from 76.12 euro cents Thursday. The dollar fell against the Japanese currency to 97.17 yen from 98.09 yen.

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