End-of-week rally for US stocks

Friday, February 25, 2011

NEW YORK - US stocks rallied Friday, curbing some of the losses earlier this week from surging oil prices provoked by the ongoing unrest in Libya.

Friday’s gains on Wall Street were spearheaded by another unexpected rise in US consumer confidence, the backbone of the world’s largest economy.

A gauge of confidence from the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters rose to its highest level in three years. A separate measure from the New York-based Conference Board also climbed to a three-year high earlier this week.

US planemaker Boeing also saw shares climb more than 2 percent after late Thursday, when it beat out European consortium EADS for a $35-billion contract to build US Air Force refuellers, one of the most lucrative contracts in the Pentagon’s history.

The positive signs from the US economy overshadowed concerns arising from violence in Libya, where forces loyal to leader Muammar Gaddafi continued to clash with opposition demonstrators.

The price of oil in New York jumped earlier this week to its highest level since October 2008 amid concerns of supply shocks from the Middle Easy unrest. But the price of crude dropped again Thursday and rose less than 1 percent Friday.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 61.95 points, or 0.51 percent, to 12,130.45. The broader Standard and Poor’s 500 Index rose 13.78 points, or 1.06 percent, to 1,319.88. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 43.15 points, or 1.58 percent, to 2,781.05.

But the gains were not enough to erase the week’s losses. Over the past five days, the Dow has dropped 1.52 percent, the S&P 500 fell 1.53 percent and the Nasdaq slipped 1.78 percent.

On Friday the US currency rose to 72.74 euro cents from 72.47 euro cents Thursday. The dollar fell against the Japanese currency to 81.65 yen from 81.91 yen.

Filed under: Economy

will not be displayed