U.S. stocks posts best 2-day gain in 3 month

08:19, February 03, 2010      

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Wall Street continued to rally on Tuesday and posted best two-day gain in nearly three months after report showed U.S. housing market is steadying after sharp swings caused by a government tax credit.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced more than 100 points for the second straight day and ended up 111.32, or 1.09 percent, to 10,296.85. The Standard & Poor's 500 index jumped 14.13, or 1. 30 percent, to 1,103.31 and the Nasdaq rose 18.86, or 0.87 percent to 2,190.06.

Tuesday's advance came as the National Association of Realtors said its index for pending sales of previously owned homes increased by 1.0 percent in December, better than expectations for the sales to be flat.

Meanwhile, D.R. Horton Inc., the second largest home builder in revenue, posted its first profit since 2007 during its fiscal first quarter, pushing the stock up 10.92 percent and also lifted shares across the sector.

The U.S. dollar weakened against most of its counterpart, giving commodities a boost as investors turned to more lucrative assets. Benchmark crude oil jumped above 77 dollars a barrel and metals futures climbed broadly, indicating investors were feeling confident enough to edge back toward riskier areas of the market.

Earlier, stocks were lifted by better-than-expected earnings from UPS, whose earnings are closely watched for a read on business activity. Shares of Ford ended up 1.74 percent after the U.S. second largest carmaker said higher January sales across all brands and product categories resulted in a 25 percent increase year over year.

The market also got a boost from a batch of rating upgrades. Alcoa led the Dow higher after Citigroup Global Markets raised its investment rating on the aluminum giant to buy from hold, while J. P. Morgan Chase and American Express were also particularly strong as analysts at Bank of America upgraded their investment rating on the credit-card sector.

White House adviser Paul Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman, testified before a Senate panel on Monday, urging lawmakers to curb risks taken by large banks. However, the testimony had little impact on the market by failing to provide more details of the plan.

Source: Xinhua
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