Stocks Blast Off; Dow Rises 420

Worries lessen that investment banks are doomed
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2008 3:47 PM CDT
Trader Vincent Quinones, foreground right, gathers with other traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday March 18, 2008.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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(Newser) – Stocks blasted off today, with the Dow up more than 400 points after the Fed rate cut and a rally by investment bank stocks. "The run on the investment banks would appear to be over,'' a strategist told Bloomberg. The Dow ended up 420.41 at 12,392.66, the Nasdaq up 91.25 at 2,268.26, and the S&P 500 up 54.14 at 1,330.71.

"The Fed decision is actually a bit of a sideshow," added the strategist. Stocks actually fell slightly after the cut was announced—many investors were hoping 100 basis points, not 75—but the markets surged back to record even bigger gains later in the session. "I think it was the right thing to do," one manager told CNNMoney about the smaller-than-expected cut.