US stocks rise on energy, overcoming Fannie-Freddie slumpAugust 21st, 2008 - 7:20 am ICT by IANS
Washington, Aug 21 (DPA) Major US stock indices improved Wednesday on the back of gains in energy and metal shares, while new mortgage-market fears weighed heavily on financial institutions.The price of crude oil inched upward 0.8 percent to $115.47 per barrel in New York trading, after Goldman Sachs Group Inc said it stood by a forecast that oil would climb back up to $149 per barrel by the end of the year.
But home mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plunged 22 percent on reports they may be unable to repay bond debts of more than $220 billion by the end of the quarter. An index of financial shares dropped 6.3 percent.
Metals producer Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold’s shares improved after a Morgan Stanley analyst suggested copper supplies were slipping.
Hewlett-Packard Co rose 5.7 percent after reporting better-than-expected profits late Tuesday.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 68.88 points, or 0.6 percent, to 11,417.43. The broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 7.85 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,274.54, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gained 4.72 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,389.08.
The US currency climbed to 68.82 euro cents from 67.65 euro cents Tuesday. The dollar rose against the Japanese currency to 109.82 yen from 109.71 yen.
Gold closed at $816.30 dollars per fine ounce, down slightly from $816.80 Tuesday.