Stocks up Thursday

Wall Street rallied for the second day in a row on Thursday March 26. The Nasdaq composite pushed into gainer territory for the year to date figures based on rising consumer demand and optimism based on the government reports that the economic crises is nearing the end of the worst. Experts at a trading firm have expressed that collectively seeing news as less negative than feared is very important to investor confidence.

Retail Stocks that confirm this new confidence are Best Buy, closing up over twelve and a half percent; Wal-Mart, one of the highest climbers, was up two percent; and the Standard and Poor’s retail index RLX gained over four percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up over one hundred and seventy points, more than two and a quarter percent. The Nasdaq Composite closed up over fifty eight points, nearly four percent. Combined with earlier reports on both the housing market and durable goods market improving, investors pushed the S & P 500 Index was up over two and a quarter percent as well. At this current rate of growth the S & P 500 is on track for over twenty three percent growth since the ten year low in March.

Government data reveals the harsh fact that the entire US economy faltered in the last quarter of 2008 at the most rapid rate since 1982. US Corporate profits in the same quarter plunged the most in fourteen years. However, these losses are less than originally feared and investors took this as a buy sign. Two of the market sectors hit the hardest by contraction are homebuilder stocks and obviously bank stocks, both had upward gains on Thursday.

Some indexes are showing positive gains for the year to date: S&P’s technology index (GSPT), and the material index (GSPM). Natural resource companies gained along with commodity prices by Thursday’s close.

The Obama administration’s plan to finance the recovery act was having trouble selling government debt Wednesday, found new demand Thursday relieving investors concerns. Technology sector gainers include Apple, climbing over three percent; and the semiconductor index (SOXX) gained six percent. Total trade on the New York Stock Exchange was over 1.8 billion shares, more than last years average daily shares traded of 1.4 billion shares. Advances beat declines by a ratio of four to one. On the Nasdaq exchange advancers beat decliners by approximately 4.2 to 1.

In the Banking sector, Goldman Sachs released numbers expressing an expected performance in line with market forecasts, sending the stock soaring up almost five percent to close out over forty five dollars.