18 Jul 2008

Wall St extends rally as oil plunges, banks recover

9:49 am on 18 July 2008

Wall Street roared higher for a second straight day on Thursday, as oil prices tumbled further and the troubled banking sector extended its rebound on positive results from JPMorgan Chase.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average vaulted 207.38 points or 1.85% to close at 11,446.66, a day after a powerful rally of more than 2.5%.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite lifted 27.45 points or 1.20% to 2,312.30 and the Standard and Poor's 500 climbed 14.96 points or 1.20% to 1,260.32.

The S&P banking index was up 8.7%, extending its recovery, after JPMorgan Chase, like Wells Fargo a day earlier, reported that its quarterly profits fell but not as much as feared.

Sentiment also was boosted by another sharp fall in crude oil prices. New York's main oil contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, lost $US5.31 to close at $US129.29 a barrel. It has tumbled more than $US15 since Monday.

Britain and Europe

British blue-chip shares surged 2.6% in a global rally, with banks soaring as better-than-expected results from JPMorgan calmed some concerns about the outlook for US corporate profits.

The FTSE 100 closed at 5,286.3 points, up 135.7 or 2.63%.

European stocks staged a sharp rally as a solid outlook from bellwether Nokia and surprisingly strong results from JPMorgan spurred a relief rally led by the banking sector.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index closed 2.7% higher at 1,145.87 points, after brushing an intra-day high of 1,154.72 earlier in the session. The day's advance was the largest since 1 April.

In Germany, the DAX index ended at 6,271.27 points, up 115.9 or 1.88%, while France's CAC-40 index closed at 4,225.99 points, up 113.54 or 2.76%.

The Swiss market index closed at 6,739.16 points, up 155.67 or 2.36% and in Italy, the All Share Mibtel index closed at 21,308 points, up 385 or 1.84%.