Dow at new one-year high as stocks jump worldwide
The bears are being routed worldwide today as investors find plenty of reasons to buy stocks and not many reasons to sell.
The Dow Jones industrial average was trading at a new one-year high at about 11 a.m. PST, up 176.84 points, or 1.8%, to 10,200.26. That tops the recent closing high of 10,092.19 on Oct. 19.
Other major U.S. indexes also are up sharply, though still below their recent peaks. The Nasdaq composite, up 34.30 points, or 1.6%, to 2,146.74, is within 1.4% of its closing high of 2,176.32 on Oct. 19.
Today’s rally is rooted in faith that the global economy won’t go back into the soup. That sentiment got a boost after finance ministers and central bank chiefs of the G-20 nations met over the weekend in Scotland and pledged not to rush to remove fiscal and monetary support programs.
"We agreed to maintain support for the recovery until it is assured," the group said in a statement.
That helped stoke investors’ appetite for risk-taking as markets opened today. Emerging-market stocks are among the day’s biggest gainers. The Indian market jumped 2.1%, Russian stocks surged 5% and the Brazilian market is up 2.4% so far.
Commodity prices also are broadly higher, led by oil, corn, cotton and gold, with the yellow metal at a new all-time high of $1,102.20 an ounce, up from $1,095.10 on Friday.
With risk takers on a roll, the dollar is the day’s loser -- but it’s clearly not hurting the mood on Wall Street. The DXY index of the dollar’s value against six other major currencies is down about 1%.
As for concerns that the U.S. House’s passage of the $1.1-trillion healthcare reform bill would hammer medical-related stocks -- well, not today. Most major drug stocks are trading higher (Merck is up 65 cents to $33.24) and an index of 11 big HMO stocks, including Wellpoint Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc., is up 1.5% to a new 52-week high.
Even the bond market is cooperating with stock bulls today: Despite the dollar’s slide Treasury bond yields are flat compared with Friday.
-- Tom Petruno
Photo: Richard Drew / Associated Press