Saturday, April 19, 2008
NEW YORK, April 18 -- Wall Street topped off a strong week with a big rally Friday, after results from Citigroup and Google helped ease investor anxiety.
The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 228.87, or 1.81 percent, to 12,849.36; the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index increased 24.77, or 1.81 percent, to 1390.33; and the Nasdaq composite index rose 61.14, or 2.61 percent, to 2402.97.
For the week, the Dow rose 4.25 percent, the S&P gained 4.31 percent, and the Nasdaq jumped 4.92 percent.
Investors have been worried that recent data indicate that the economy is slowing, which would cut into profit growth at some of the nation's biggest companies. But results, so far, have shown that earnings are mostly meeting or surpassing expectations.
The gains come at the end of a big week for stocks. After a quiet start, the major indexes surged more than 2 percent Wednesday after J.P. Morgan Chase, Intel and Coca-Cola reported better-than-expected profits. Stocks finished mixed Thursday, largely holding their gains.
Bond prices rose after initially declining when stocks rallied. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, fell to 3.71 percent from 3.73 late Thursday.
And investors appeared unfazed by the latest spike in energy prices. Oil jumped to $117 a barrel for the first time when a militant group in Nigeria said it sabotaged a major oil pipeline.
Unease appeared to dissipate. Wall Street's "fear index" -- the Chicago Board Options Exchange's volatility index -- declined 1.2 percent Friday.
Google surged $89.87, or 20 percent, to $539.41, after reporting a 30 percent increase in quarterly earnings, surpassing analysts' expectations.
Citigroup rose $1.08, or 4.5 percent, to $25.11. The nation's largest bank posted a $5.1 billion quarterly loss because of poor bets on mortgages, but investors had expected much worse.
Caterpillar rose $6.69, or 8.5 percent, to $85.28. The Dow Jones component, a maker of heavy equipment, posted a 13 percent gain in earnings.