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Bank Stocks News

December 2, 2011 by staff 

Bank Stocks News, A surprise drop in the U.S. unemployment rate sent stocks higher Friday, capping a week of extraordinary gains. Investors were also encouraged after Germany’s chancellor made tough remarks about fiscal discipline in the European Union.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 47 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,068 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time. It’s up 837 points for the week, putting the Dow on track for its second-biggest weekly point gain in history.

Bank stocks rose the most. JPMorgan Chase & Co. jumped 7.3 percent, the most among the 30 stocks in the Dow average. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. gained more than 6 percent.

The government said the unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent last month, its lowest level in 2½ years. Economists had expected the rate to stay at 9 percent. But a key reason the unemployment rate fell so much was because roughly 315,000 people had given up looking for work and so dropped from the tally of those counted as unemployed.

European stock indexes and the euro rose after German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a speech demanding tougher fiscal discipline in the region. Germany’s DAX index closed 1.1 percent higher; France’s CAC-40 rose 1.1 percent.

Merkel said the 17 countries that use the euro must quickly restore market confidence by making financial controls stricter. Bond yields for Spain and Italy fell, a sign that investors are becoming more confident in the ability of those countries to pay their debt.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 6, or 0.5 percent, to 1,251. The Nasdaq composite rose 13, or 0.5 percent, to 2,640.

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