30 Apr 2009

Wall St rallies as consumer spending rises

8:49 am on 30 April 2009

Stocks in the United States climbed on Wednesday on hints of future economic expansion.

Gross domestic product dropped at an annual rate of 6.1% in the first quarter, but consumer spending rose. A decline in inventories also suggested manufacturers and retailers will have to stock up in merchandise.

The Federal Reserve said the economic outlook had improved modestly since its last meeting in March.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 168.78 points, or 2.11%, to 8,185.73 - its highest close since February.

Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 18.48 points, or 2.16%, to 873.64.

The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 38.13 points, or 2.28%, to 1,711.94 - its highest level since 4 November. The index is now up 8.6% for the year,

Trading was moderate on the New York Stock Exchange, with about 1.48 billion shares changing hands - slightly below last year's estimated daily average of 1.49 billion.

About 2.40 billion shares were traded on the Nasdaq - above last year's daily average of 2.28 billion.