- Dow Jones Industrial Average up 68.12 (+0.54%) to 12,641.69
- S&P 500 up up 9.52 (+0.72%) to 1,335.02
- Nasdaq Composite Index up 33.33 (+1.17%) to 2,892.42
- Nikkei 225 Index down 0.29%
- Hang Seng Index down 1.40%
- Shanghai China Composite Index down 1.40%
- FTSE 100 Index down 1.00%
U.S. stocks rose on Friday as investors came to terms with the downgrades of several banks by Moody's. Also contributing to the upside was a statement from the European Central Bank claiming that it would ease rules on the collateral banks can offer for central bank funds.
Moody's late yesterday cut its credit ratings for more than a dozen banks and brokerages, citing declining profitability and increased regulatory and investor scrutiny. On Friday, bank stocks advanced making financials the best-performing sector on the S&P 500 Index.
Analysts attributed today's rally to relief, after much speculation over the impending ratings cuts. The report's arrival finally put an end to the questions about which banks would have their ratings reduced the most and what it might mean for their funding costs.
Stateside, there was no economic data released today.
In company news, shares of Patriot Coal (PCX) slipped close to year lows after it was announced that the company will be removed from the S&P 400 Index and replaced by Alexander & Baldwin (NYSE:ALEX).
Commodities also recovered a piece of yesterday's losses as the dollar declined against other major currencies. Gold for August delivery advanced $1.40, or 0.1%, to end at $1,566.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil for August delivery rose $1.56, or 2%, to settle at $79.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Overall, oil lost 5.1% this week.
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(+) EBIX, CEO Selling Shares
(-) AEC, Prices 5.5 million shares at $14.40 each, raising about $75.8 million
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