Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wall Street Ends Higher On Fed Report, Citi Surges

. Wednesday, April 29, 2009

By stockOzone team

US stocks finished higher on Wednesday after Federal Reserve policymakers said that the pace of contraction appears to be somewhat slower now. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 168.78 points or 2.11% to finish at 8,185.73. The S&P 500 added 18.48 points or 2.16% to end at 873.64. The Nasdaq Composite surged 38.13 points or 2.28% to 1,711.93. U.S. Federal Reserve policy makers on Wednesday left the target federal-funds rate for interbank lending unchanged in a range between 0.0% and 0.25%. FOMC said in a statement "The economic outlook has improved modestly since the March meeting," adding that "the pace of contraction appears to be somewhat slower."

A release by U.S. Department of Commerce showed that real gross domestic product shrank at a 6.1% annualized rate in the first quarter; compared to 6.3% decline in the fourth quarter of 2008.Economists expected a GDP reading of 4.7%.

Shares of US banks rallied on Wednesday. Citigroup (NYSE: C) jumped 23 cents or 7.96% to $3.12. Bank of America (NYSE: C) surged 53 cents or 6.50% to $8.68. JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) added $1.59 or 4.85% to end at $34.38. Shares of Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) rose 49 cents or 2.52% to $19.97. American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) climbed 80 cents 3.31% to $24.95.

The largest US aluminum maker Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) gained 28 cents or 3.29% to $8.80.

Shares of Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) advanced $1.70 or 4.38% to $40.55.

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) jumped $1.98 4.09% to $50.45.

Shares of Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS), the world's largest theme par operator, soared $1.50 or 7.69% to $21.01.

Early on Wednesday, media giant Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) announced that its first-quarter net income declined 14% to $661 million, or 55 cents a share, from $771 million, or 64 cents a share, in the prior year quarter. Revenue dropped 7% to $6.95 billion. Shares of Time Warner finished at $21.98, up 21 cents or 0.96%.

Shares of Burger King Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BKC) fell 56 cents or 3.27% to $16.55 after it was reported that first-quarter net income rose to $47 million, or 34 cents a share, from $41 million, or 30 cents a share, in the a year ago quarter. Revenue increased 1% to $600 million.

Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) on Wednesday said that first-quarter profit jumped 37% to $206 million, or 12 cents a share, from $150 million, or 8 cents a share, in the year earlier quarter. Revenue decreased 4% to $3.17 billion. Shares of the company rose 11 cents or 3.08% to $3.68.

Late on Tuesday, E-Trade Financial (NYSE: ETFC) reported that its fiscal first quarter loss nearly doubled to $233 million, or 41 cents a share, compared with a loss of $91 million, or 20 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago. Shares of the company plunged 83 cents or 33.74% to $1.63.

DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ: DWA) soared $4.80 or 25.17% to $23.87. The company said Thursday that its first quarter net income jumped to $62.3 million, or 71 cents a share, from $26.1 million, or 28 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue surged 98% to $263.5 million from $157.2

Sun Microsystems Inc.(NASDAQ: JAVA) said that its quarterly loss widened to $201 million, or 27 cents a share, from a loss of $34 million, or 4 cents a share, in the comparable quarter last year. Revenue plunged to $2.614 billion from $3.266 billion.

European stocks settled with gains. The U.K. FTSE advanced 93.19 points or 2.27% to 4,189.59. The German DAX and French CAC increased 2.11% and 2.16% respectively.

Asian stocks finished higher. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong rose 401.84 points or 2.76% to 14,956.56. Singapore’s Strait Times jumped 41.16 or 2.28% to 1,849.57 in Singapore.

NYMEX crude oil for May delivery climbed $1.05 or 2.1% to $50.97 a barrel.

Disclosure: Author does not own any of the stocks discussed here.

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