Stocks enjoyed growth for a second consecutive day as the announcement of Congress’ economic stimulus plan raised investor confidence already bolstered by this week's rate cut by the Fed, the Wall Street Journal reports. Though jittery throughout the day, the Dow mounted a late rally to end up 108.44 points at 12,378.61. The Nasdaq rose 44.51 points to 2,360.92, while the S&P 500 rose 13.47 points to 1,352.07.
Investors are optimistic that the Fed will cut rates even further at next week's meeting. Stocks also were bolstered by news from the Labor Department that first-time claims for unemployment dropped last week to 301,000, a four-month low.