9 May 2009

US shares rally on jobs data, bank confidence

10:34 am on 9 May 2009

US shares vaulted higher on Friday after a largely positive report card on the country's leading banks as well as better-than-expected labor market data.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 21.84 points, or 2.41%, to 929.23, while the Dow Jones industrial average gained 164.80 points, or 1.965, to 8,574.65.

The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 22.76 points, or 1.33%, to 1,739.00.

The market opened higher amid relief a day after US regulators said stress tests on top banks aimed at determining their capital strength provided considerable comfort to investors and the public.

Ten of the 19 banks that went through the tests were told to raise a total of $US74.6 billion for "capital buffers" in the event of a deeper economic slump.

Analysts said that the overall shortfall was not so bad as feared by some.

A Labour Department report on Friday showing better than expected job losses also appeared to offer relief to the market.

The department said the unemployment rate rose to 8.9% in April with 539,000 jobs lost. Most analysts had expected 600,000 layoffs.