Wall Street rallied on Thursday with all major indexes rising more than 2 percent as the U.S. Financial Accounting Standard Board (FASB) relaxed mark-to-market rules and the G20 leaders agreed in London to boost global economic recovery.
The FASB voted on Thursday to relax the mark-to-market accounting rules, which require companies to value assets at prices reflecting current market conditions, providing a potential boost to battered banks' balance sheets. The new guidelines will apply to the second quarter that began this month.
Stocks also got boosted on Thursday as the G20 leaders pledged 1.1 trillion U.S. dollars to revive the world economy. In a joint call the G20 leaders pledged to do "whatever necessary" to restore confidence, growth and jobs, and to repair the financial system to restore lending.
Commodity stocks advanced, as crude added 7.5 percent to over 52 dollars per barrel in early trading and copper gained for a third day.
Moreover, the U.S. Commerce Department said on Thursday that orders for manufactured products rose by 1.8 percent in February, much better than the 1.1-percent decline that economists had expected.
Wall Street maintained the rally, even as data showed a surprisingly large jump in jobless claims.
The Labor Department said on Thursday that initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to a seasonally adjusted 669,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 657,000. That total was above analysts' expectations and the highest in more than 26 years.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 216.48 points, or 2.79 percent, to 7,978.08. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 23.30 points, or 2.87 percent, to 834.38. The Nasdaq composite index was up 51.03 points, or 3.29 percent, to 1,602.63.
(Xinhua News Agency April 3, 2009)