Investors snapped up shares of consumer product makers and financial companies Wednesday as they looked to signs that the recession could be easing its chokehold on the economy.
NEW YORK (AP) — Investors snapped up shares of consumer product makers and financial companies Wednesday as they looked to signs that the recession could be easing its chokehold on the economy.
Early caution gave way to a rally in the last hour of trading as investors looked for stocks that could benefit from a rebound in the economy. Technology stocks lagged after Intel Corp.’s tightlipped forecast caused jitters about a corner of the market that had drawn buyers over the past month.
Money flowed into stocks like Procter & Gamble Co., which boosted its dividend, and American Express Co., which said it is having to write off less bad debt.
“The market may not be seeing concrete signs of a recovery, but there are specks of light that we’re on the road to stabilization,” said Ryan Larson, senior equity trader at Voyageur Asset Management.
Trading volume was light and stocks had fallen 2 percent a day earlier. Market watchers said this kind of back-and-forth is likely to continue as companies continue to report results from the first three months of the year.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 109.44, or 1.4 percent, to 8,029.62.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 10.56, or 1.3 percent, to 852.06. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index edged up 1.08, or 0.1 percent, to 1,626.08 after losing ground for most of the day because of disappointment about Intel’s report.
More than two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to a light 1.5 billion shares.