Dow Jones Rises 550+ Points, Markets Globally Show Gains

On the eve of the G-20 meeting to address the global financial crisis, stocks staged a powerful rally Thursday after three straight down days, with the Dow Jones industrial average surging more than 550 points, according to the LA Times. The blue-chip indicator remains down. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index jumped 58.99 points and the S&P fell to a new intraday bear-market low before recovering. The Nasdaq composite index rose 97.49 points. Crude futures rose $2.08 to $58.24 a barrel. That sent energy stocks in the S&P 500 up 11 percent, more than any other sector. Exxon Mobil jumped 9.4 percent, making it the biggest contributor to the S&P 500’s advance. Chevron gained 13 percent, the LA Times reported. Wal-Mart Stores cut its annual profit projection even though its third-quarter results were better than expected. Intel slashed its fourth-quarter sales forecast by $1 billion late Wednesday. Despite those reports, shares of Wal-Mart rose 4.4 percent, Intel climbed 6.7 percent and Best Buy, which fell 8 percent on Wednesday, bounced back with a 7.4 percent gain.¬†Asian and European markets gained in the wake of Wall Street’s overnight surge, according to the Associated Press. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average rose 223.75 points, or 2.7 percent, to 8,462.39, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 321.31, or 2.4 percent, to 13,542.66. Mainland China’s key index rose 3.1 percent, while markets in Australia and Singapore rose above 1 percent. Major Japanese exporters rose, too. Honda Motor Co. gained 3.2 percent, Nintendo Co. jumped 5.8 percent and Sony Corp. closed up 3.8 percent. Airbus parent company EADS said Friday it rebounded to a profit in the third quarter. European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. NV made a net profit of $850 million. There were some losers. Megabank Mizuho Financial Group Inc. fell 4.6 percent after reporting Thursday that its first-half profit sank 71 percent due to fallout from the global financial crisis. Belgian-French bank Dexia said Friday it’s agreed to sell its struggling FSA bond insurance unit to Assured Guaranty for $722 million as it also reported a $2 billion loss in the latest quarter, according to MarketWatch.Nissan Motor Co said on Friday it would cut production in Japan by another 72,000 vehicles over the rest of the business year to next March, in addition to a cut of 65,000 vehicles it announced last month, Reuters reported. Japan’s No.3 automaker said the latest move would be on top of its plan announced two weeks ago to scale back production by 200,000 vehicles globally this year. Back stateside, the Labor Department on Thursday reported that jobless claims last week increased by 32,000 to a seasonally adjusted 516,000. That nearly matched the 517,000 claims reported seven years ago, and is only the second time since 1992 that claims have topped 500,000, the Associated Press reported. Citigroup Inc. is cutting at least 10,000 jobs in its investment bank and other divisions throughout the world, according to the Wall Street Journal. Citigroup announced last month it cut 11,000 jobs in the third quarter, bringing the total number of job cuts in 2008 to 23,000.