Wall Street extends gains for third day

08:38, March 03, 2010      

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Wall Street extended gains for a third straight day Tuesday on growing hopes European leaders will complete a bailout plan for debt-burdened Greece.

Although major averages managed to end up, trading was rather restrained during the session as investors were cautiously waiting for the monthly payroll report. The government non-farm payroll will release on Friday, which is expected to provide some directions for the market and also probably set the tone in the short run.

As the market closed on Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average inched up 2.19, or 0.02 percent, to 10,405.98. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 2.60, or 0.23 percent, to 1,118. 31 and the Nasdaq was up 7.22, or 0.32 percent to 2,280.79.

Major averages opened higher on Tuesday as upbeat economic data from Japan and mounting expectations on Greece bailout boosted global markets.

Data showed Japan's unemployment rate dropped for the second straight month in January and household spending grew, which are positive signs for recovery in the world's second-largest economy.

Meanwhile, hopes on a possible bailout package for Greece still bolstered the market. No official words came in about the details of any kind of essential rescue plans, but investors seemed confident that European leaders will work out a rescue.

Carmakers were in the spotlight on Tuesday as major manufactures released their auto sales for February.

Toyota Motor said its U.S. sales fell 8.7 percent in February due to the massive recall, while Ford, GM, Nissan, Honda and Hyundai all reported double-digit growth compared with February of 2009.

Notably, Ford beat General Motors in monthly sales for the first time since 1998 by delivering 142,285 vehicles, jumped 43 percent from the same period last year, compared with 141,951 for GM. In addition, more merger news came in, showing companies feel more optimistic for the future.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm said it would buy back 3 billion dollars in stock and raise its dividend by 12 percent, boosting its share by 6.7 percent.

Source: Xinhua
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