Financial stocks lead Wall Street higher

08:03, October 19, 2010      

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Financial stocks led Wall Street higher on Monday after Citigroup released better-than-expected earnings and Bank of America said it would restart foreclosure.

Citigroup posted third-quarter earnings of 2.2 billion U.S. dollars on Monday, marking its third straight quarterly profit and beating Wall Street expectations, as the bank continued to trim its loan loss reserves thanks to improving credit trends.

Earnings for the bank came in at 7 cents per share, compared to a loss of 27 cents per share during the same period a year ago.

Shares of Citi were up more than 5 percent on the New York Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, Bank of America said it is restarting the foreclosure process after completing a review of 102,000 documents for proceedings in which action is pending.

The action only includes the 23 states where foreclosures must be approved by the courts. The company said it will continue its review in 27 other states.

The Dow Jones was up 80.91 points, or 0.73 percent, to 11,143. 69. The S&P 500 rose 8.52, or 0.72 percent, to 1,184.71. The Nasdaq added 11.89, or 0.48 percent, to 2,480.66.

On Monday, the U.S. government said industrial production fell in September for the first time since the recession ended in June 2009. Sluggish spending by businesses and consumers is causing factories to cool their production after they helped lift the economy out of recession.

Industrial production fell 0.2 percent, the Fed said. Economists had expected September's industrial production to rise 0.2 percent, the same as in August.

Meanwhile, a separate report on Monday showed the nation's homebuilders are still pessimistic about the housing market. The National Association of Home Builders said its monthly index rose slightly to 16. It's the first increase in five months. But the index remains far below 50, the dividing threshold between positive and negative sentiment about the market. The last time the index was above 50 was in April 2006.

Crude prices rose on Monday as the equities market climbed higher. Light, sweet crude for November delivery was up 1.83 U.S. dollars, or 2.3 percent, to 83.08 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Source: Xinhua


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