Real estate optimism, IMF bolster Wall Street
Jan 19, 2012, 10:58 GMT
New York - US stocks rose Wednesday as confidence rose among US homebuilders and the International Monetary Fund said it was seeking additional lending funds.
The National Association of Homebuilders expressed the highest level of confidence since 2007, pushing up shares in builders.
Financial stocks were also pushed up as Goldman Sachs recorded better-than-expected earnings. Profits dropped 67 per cent to 2.5 billion dollars for the year, but results were better in the fourth quarter, returning to the black at 1 billion dollars after a quarter in the red.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund said it hopes to raise its lending capacity by 500 billion dollars, as it works to combat the debt crisis in the eurozone. The fund is examining means to raise the additional money and would not provide further details before it completed consultations with its member countries.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average added 96.88 points, or 0.78 per cent, to 12,578.95. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 14.37 points, or 1.11 per cent, to 1,308.04. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 41.63 points, or 1.53 per cent, to 2,769.71.
The US currency slid against the euro to 77.78 euro cents from 78.5 euro cents on Monday. The dollar was also down against the Japanese currency to 76.77 yen from 76.83 yen.