Stocks Surge on Oil, Fed News

Bernanke's comments encourage the battered financial sector
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2008 3:38 PM CDT
Michael McDonnell of Lehman Brothers MarketMaker looks at an overhead monitor from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, July 8, 2008, in New York.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The markets made strong gains today as crude futures fell more than $5 and the Fed took steps to shore up the housing market, MarketWatch reports. The Dow gained 152.25 points, its biggest jump in a month, to close at 11,384.21. The Nasdaq rose 51.10 points to 2,294.42, and the S&P 500 rose 21.39 points to 1,273.70.

A strengthening dollar, signs of falling demand, and easing tensions between Iran and Israel were thought to be behind the drop in oil prices. Financials jumped after Ben Bernanke said the Fed might extend the availability window for emergency loans to investment banks. The Fed also plans to clamp down on high-risk loans to people with weak credit.