US stocks gain, S&P posts highest weekly climb since 1974

November 1st, 2008 - 8:20 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Nov 1 (DPA) Wall Street stock indices closed higher on Friday, ending one of the best weeks in three decades, as banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co moved to tackle the housing crisis at the centre of the economic downturn in the US.JPMorgan Chase said it would suspend foreclosures proceedings as it works to modify the terms of $110-billion worth of mortgages. Financial shares gained 12 percent Friday.

More than 3 million foreclosures since 2007, a record caused by a sharp downturn in housing prices, have cost financial institutions more than $500 billion. A report Friday by First American CoreLogic, a data supplier, said more than 7.5 million mortgage holders, 18 percent of the total, owned properties worth less than they still owed the bank.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 144.32 points, or 1.57 percent, to 9,325.01. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 14.66 points, or 1.54 percent, to 968.75. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 22.43 points, or 1.32 percent, to 1,720.95.

For the week, the S&P 500 climbed 10 percent, the strongest gain since 1974. But that could not stop a 17-per-cent slide over the course of October, the largest drop since 1987, according to Bloomberg News.

The dollar dipped slightly against the Japanese currency to 98.47 yen from 98.58 yen Thursday. The dollar climbed against the euro to 78.58 euro cents from 77.21 euro cents.

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