Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dow Closes Up Over 9,000 Points

The market is back up over 9,000 again, at least for now, with the Dow closing up over 400 points yesterday.

European stock markets rose Tuesday ahead of Wall Street's open as interbank lending rates continued to decline. British shares was 1 percent higher, Germany's DAX was up 0.9 percent, and France's CAC-40 index of leading shares rose more strongly at 2.4 percent.

Asian stocks were mixed. Japan's benchmark Nikkei was up 3.3 percent, Australia, the main index gained 3.9 percent, India's stockmarket was the biggest winner up point 6.5, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 1.84 percent, Shanghai's benchmark fell 0.8 percent and South Korea's index shed about 1 percent.

Stock markets overall continue to be buoyed by the fall in interbank lending rates as they may presage more stable conditions across all the financial markets. There has been a slow trickle of good news coming through, notably with lower Libor rates. Figures released this morning show that the lending rates between banks in the U.S. and Europe have dropped to the lowest levels in over a month as credit markets continue to improve.

However, futures have indicated the Dow may give up some of the gains made yesterday, when it opens today with profit-taking and unease about the health of some major U.S. corporations. Among the companies reporting today are Caterpillar Inc., Apple Inc., DuPont Co. and Pfizer Inc.

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