U.S. stocks bust out a big week of gains

November 29, 2011

U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index to its biggest weekly rally since March 2009, after central banks took action to ease Europe’s debt crisis and shoppers turned out for Thanksgiving sales.

The S&P 500 was little changed Friday after erasing a 1.3 percent gain that followed an unexpected drop in the U.S. jobless rate. Boeing, J.P. Morgan Chase and Caterpillar jumped more than 11 percent to lead the Dow Jones industrial average’s weekly advance. Energy producers and financial companies led a surge by all 10 industries in the S&P 500. Amazon.com jumped 7.5 percent after record Black Friday sales of its Kindle products.

The S&P 500 has climbed 7.4 percent, to 1,244.28, since Nov. 25, snapping a two-week decline and trimming its 2011 loss to 1.1 percent. Last week, the Dow rose 787.64 points, or 7 percent, to 12,019.42, and is up 3.8 percent for the year.

“This week’s move was sparked by the global coordinated efforts by central banks and the greater clarity provided by European policy makers on plans to stabilize the debt situation,” said Chad Morganlander, a money manager at Stifel Nicolaus, which has more than $116 billion in client assets.

The S&P 500 surged after the Federal Reserve and five other central banks lowered the cost of dollar funding and China eased the reserve-capital requirement for banks. The stock index has rebounded more than 13 percent since Oct. 3.

The Treasury will sell $29 billion in three-month bills and $27 billion in six-month bills Monday. They yielded 0.005 percent and 0.041 percent, respectively, in when-issued trading.

— Bloomberg News

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