Financial, tech stocks help buoy Wall Street


POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2009

NEW YORK » Investors acted yesterday like they had overdone it a day earlier.

Wall Street snapped back from a steep sell-off Tuesday with a rebound in the same financial stocks that were pummeled Tuesday. Some upbeat comments from banks, stronger-than-expected results from IBM Corp. and hopes that Washington will offer more help to the economy powered a rally that recovered most of Tuesday's losses.

The Dow Jones industrials surged more than 275 points and all the major indexes rose more than 3.5 percent. Some bounce would have been expected after the Dow tumbled 332 points Tuesday but forecasts from PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and Bank of New York Mellon eased concerns that the troubles at financial giants like Citigroup Inc. were hitting all banks.

President Barack Obama's Treasury Secretary nominee, Timothy Geithner, asked Congress to act quickly and forcefully to deal with financial crisis. Appearing before the Senate for his confirmation hearing, he said Obama is working to foster economic recovery and “;get credit flowing again.”;

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 279.01, or 3.51 percent, to 8,228.10.

Broader stock indicators also gained. The Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 35.02, or 4.35 percent, to 840.24, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 66.21, or 4.60 percent, to 1,507.07.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 14.69, or 3.39 percent, to 448.34.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by about 4 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1.74 billion shares.

Bond prices slumped as stocks rebounded and investors shifted money away from the safety of government debt. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 2.54 percent from 2.37 percent late Tuesday. The yield on the three-month T-bill, in demand because it is considered one of the safest investments, rose to 0.12 percent from 0.10 percent late Tuesday.

The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices fell.

Light, sweet crude rose $2.71 to settle at $43.55 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Kim Caughey, equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group, said the comments from PNC and other banks and results from IBM made clear that while it's a difficult time for businesses, not all are struggling as much as some financial companies.

“;It was a great reminder that businesses still have their lights on, their doors open and that they're making money,”; she said.