24 Jul 2009

Rally lifts Dow above 9,000

10:28 am on 24 July 2009

Stocks in the United States surged on Thursday, driving the Dow index above the 9,000 mark for the first time since January.

The rise was due to strong corporate profits and a rebound in house sales.

However, stock index futures dropped in late trading, after Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc and American Express posted disappointing quarterly results after the bell.

Existing home sales rose in June. it was the first time since 2004 that this measure has risen three months in a row. The Dow Jones US home construction index jumped 4.9%.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 188.03 points, or 2.12%, to end at 9,069.29 - its highest close since November 2008. It was the Dow's first close above 9,000 since January 2009.

Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 22.22 points, or 2.33%, to 976.29. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 47.22 points, or 2.45%, to 1,973.60 - its 12th straight day of gains.

Volume was moderate on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1.40 billion shares changing hands - below last year's estimated daily average of 1.49 billion.

About 3.01 billion shares were traded on the Nasdaq - above last year's daily average of 2.28 billion.