Stocks enjoyed a steady rally today off of surprisingly good manufacturing data and renewed investor confidence in Fannie and Freddie Mae, achieving the first weekly gain in a month, since the market is closed tomorrow, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Dow rose 261.66 points, ending at 12,361.32; the Nasdaq gained 48.15 points to 2,258.11; and the S&P 500 added 31.09 to close at 1,329.51.
This week’s key worry of a liquidity crisis has been somewhat eased by the Fed’s three-quarter-point rate cut and loosening of restrictions on Fannie and Freddie. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve said local manufacturing increased in March, reversing a string of regional declines. Nike posted an unexpected 32% jump in quarterly profit, and the dollar rose against the pound and euro.