Between the Treasury Department's plan to rid banks of toxic assets and a big month-over-month surge in exisitng-home sales in February, investors clearly found much to celebrate in today's news. And their revelry sent stocks through the roof: The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 497 points, or 6.8 percent, to 7,776.
With bank stocks in the lead, the Dow has risen more than 17 percent since hitting its lowest point in more than a decade on March 9.
Some stocks making headlines:
Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) traded up sharply on the Treasury plan to help banks get rid of toxic assets. There are still many questions, but this was a huge day for banks. BofA was up 19% at $7.37, and Citi was up almost 17% at $3.07 right before the close.
American International Group (AIG) also rose on the Treasury plan to get toxic assets off the balance sheets despite AIG not being a bank and despite there not being any market for some of its toxic assets. AIG also saw some interest as it seems that some late day headlines put some delays to the Senate vote on bonus taxing because of legal issues. AIG shares were up 12% at $1.42 before the close.
General Electric (GE) rose over 7% to $10.28 before the close. This was despite the Moody's debt rating downgrade that took away its "AAA" rating, just like S&P has already done. That was deemed a mere catch-up call.
General Motors (GM) was even up by 5% to $3.34 shortly before the close. This was after a representative for the bondholders said that the government and bondholder plan might not be enough to keep the company out of bankruptcy. If this rose, then you know it was a huge day.
Tiffany & Co. (TIF) posted bad earnings with a 75% drop, but the hopes really came in with a strong market and the notion that the earnings before items were actually above estimates. The high-end jeweler even gave no hope for a great 2009 and it still rose. This was up 14% at $23.06 shortly before the close.
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