Gains Give S&P 500 Its Sixth Straight Winning Week

Sunday, April 19, 2009

U.S. stocks rose last week, giving the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index its sixth straight week of gains, its longest winning streak since May 2007, as profits at Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase ignited a rally in bank shares.

Bank of America, the largest U.S. bank, and J.P. Morgan, the second-biggest, helped lead the advance.

The S&P 500 rose 1.5 percent, to 869.60. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 47.95 points, or 0.6 percent, to 8131.33. The Nasdaq composite index rose 1.2 percent, to 1673.07.

"Broadly, through a number of banks, we're seeing signs of stabilization," said Timothy M. Ghriskey, chief investment officer at Solaris Asset Management in Bedford Hills, N.Y.

Financial companies, which led the S&P 500's 57 percent plunge from an October 2007 record to its recession low on March 9 of this year, rose 4.1 percent as a group last week. An index of the shares has climbed 83 percent from a 17-year low on March 6.

First-quarter results from Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan bolstered speculation that record-low interest rates and $12.8 trillion in support pledged by the U.S. government and Federal Reserve will end the recession. Bank of America and International Business Machines are among the 144 S&P 500 companies scheduled to report first-quarter results next week.

Yields on Treasury securities were little changed as demand for riskier assets was offset by Federal Reserve purchases of government debt to keep borrowing costs low. The benchmark 10-year note's yield rose to 2.95 percent from 2.92 percent.

The Treasury will auction $28 billion of three-month bills and $27 billion of six-month bills tomorrow. They yielded 0.13 percent and 0.35 percent, respectively, in when-issued trading. The Treasury will sell one-month bills Tuesday.

-- Bloomberg News

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