US stocks surge on talk of stimulus

October 21st, 2008 - 6:45 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 21 (DPA) Wall Street stocks rose sharply Monday amid indications that a second fiscal stimulus package could be on the way to boost the faltering US economy.Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in congressional testimony that another stimulus package “seems appropriate”. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said that President George W. Bush was keeping an “open mind” to the idea.

An economic stimulus package passed in February spent $152 billion, most of it through tax credit checks sent to individual taxpayers.

The private New York-based Conference Board, meanwhile, said its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.3 percent in September, the first increase in five months.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 413.21 points, or 4.67 percent to 9,265.43. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 surged 44.85 points, or 4.77 percent, to 985.4. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 58.74 points, or 3.43 percent, to 1,770.03.

Last week, the Dow industrials climbed 4.8 percent, its largest weekly gain since 2003, and the S&P 500 rose 4.6 percent, the most since February. Both major indices are still down more than 30 percent this year amid ongoing fears that the US is facing a recession.

On currency markets, the dollar edged up against the Japanese currency to 101.96 yen from 101.69 yen Friday. The dollar rose against the euro to 74.94 euro cents from 74.57 euro cents.

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