Monday, May 4, 2009

US Stock Surges On Economic Data, Bank of America Rallies

. Monday, May 4, 2009

By stockOzone team

US stocks finished with solid gains on Monday after stronger construction spending and home sales data fueled hopes of economic recovery. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 214.33 points or 2.61% to finish at 8,426.74. The S&P 500 jumped 29.72 points or 3.39% to end at 907.24. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 44.36 points or 2.58% to 1,763.56.

A release by the Commerce Department, total US construction spending unexpectedly rose by 0.3% in March, the first gain in six month. Economists were expecting total construction spending to fall 1.5%.

According to the National Association of Realtors, pending sales of U.S. existing homes jumped 3.2% in March to 84.6. Economists anticipated a reading of 82.1.

Shares of financials skyrocketed. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) soared $1.73 or 19.89% to $10.43. Citigroup (NYSE: C) jumped 23 cents or 7.74% to $3.20. JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) surged $3.30 or 10.16% to end at $35.79. American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) rallied $2.99 or 12.31% to $27.28. Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) leaped $4.64 or 23.66% to $24.25.Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) is the company’s biggest shareholder, said at latter's annual meeting that while he’d “love” to buy the entire bank, he is unable to because Berkshire wouldn’t get permission from regulators.

According to reports, both Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and Citigroup (NYSE: C) are planning to raise more than $10 billion each in additional capital following preliminary findings of the U.S. stress tests on banks.

Results of the stress tests conducted by government officials, the Federal Reserve on the 19 largest U.S. financial companies will be released on May 7 publicly.

The largest US aluminum maker Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) climbed 67 cents or 6.91% to $10.36.

Shares of equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) finished at $38.48, up $1.22 or 3.27%.

Diversified US firm, General Electric (NYSE: GE) increased 41 cents or 3.23% to $13.10.

Among technology stocks, chipmaker Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) gained 85 cents or 5.38% to $16.66. Shares of iPhone maker Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) rose $4.83 or 3.80% to $132.07.

Shares of homebuilders gained. Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: HOV) jumped 31 cents or 11.52% to $3.Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) surged 88 cents or 9.30% to $10.34.

Early on Monday, Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) said that first quarter loss widened to $594 million, or 21 cents a share compared to a loss of $505 million, or 18 cents a share, in the prior year quarter. Revenue declined 12% to $8.21 billion. Shares of the company surged 33 cents or 7.07% to $5.

Shares of Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) jumped $1.14 or 10.80% to $11.70 after it reported that its second quarter loss widened to $104 million, or 28 cents a share, compared to a loss of $5 million, or 2 cents a share, in the year ago quarter. Revenue remained relatively unchanged at $6.3 billion.

European stocks settled higher. The German DAX and French CAC added 2.79% and 2.47% respectively. Asian stocks finished with strong gains. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong jumped 860.06 points or 5.54% to 16,381.05.

NYMEX crude oil for May delivery climbed $1.27 or 2.4% to settle at $54.47 a barrel.

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

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