Rabu, 3 Disember 2008

US stocks rise on bargain hunting, oil skids

**Apa sangat la citer ni kan? Pada sesetengah orang ia sesuatu yang gumbira.. Ada pula yang "thrill". Dan ada langsung tak kisah pun. Don't Be Sorry and Not Too Worry...**

NEW YORK: US stocks snapped back on Tuesday, a day after a massive sell-off, as investors scooped up beaten-down shares and oil fell more than 4

percent after an OPEC pledge to cut output was only partially fulfilled.

Fear of a prolonged global recession also helped drive down both crude prices and the yield on US government debt, which hovered near record lows last seen more than five decades ago.

But rising stocks encouraged investors to emerge from the perceived shelter of US assets, leading the US dollar to fall against the euro and a basket of currencies.

Equity markets continued to drive investor sentiment even as the focus remained on bargain hunting in the shares of financial services and energy companies.

News on Monday that the United States has been in a recession since last December added to fears the global economy is in the throes of a deepening and protracted downturn.

"Fears of a deep global recession continue to linger over the markets like a dark cloud as traders try to ascertain not only the deepness of the slowdown but how long it will take for the recovery to take hold," said Chris Jarvis, senior analyst at Caprock Risk Management in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire.

In such a scenario, Jarvis said, "crude oil remains on its slippery slope, looking for direction and a bottom as is the case with the majority of the asset classes."

Financial stocks surged on Wall Street after suffering their worst one-day loss on record on Monday. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signaled on Monday that policy-makers were determined to stabilize the economy and markets.

The S&P Financial Index rose almost 8 percent.

Energy stocks, currently the cheapest S&P sector in relation to earnings, rebounded despite the dip in oil prices.

Shares of General Electric shares jumped 13.6 percent as the company pledged to leave its dividend intact in a tough economy, even though GE said it expects profit in the fourth quarter to come in at the low end of a prior forecast.

"There's been concern about GE defending its triple-A credit rating at its financing unit. ... The company is taking steps to bolster that unit, which will help protect its dividend," said Brian Gendreau, an investment strategist in New York for ING Investment Management Americas. "This is helping to pull the market higher."

The jump in GE shares marked the biggest one-day gain for the stock since at least 1981. The stock's dividend based on Monday's closing stock price is yielding 8 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 270.00 points, or 3.31 percent, at 8,419.09. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 32.60 points, or 3.99 percent, at 848.81. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 51.73 points, or 3.70 percent, at 1,449.80.

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