Stocks Continue Strong Rally

Dow up 207 points; third consecutive day of falling oil prices helps
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2008 3:35 PM CDT
Traders Richard Farrell, left, and Christopher Carrella, both with Kellogg Specialist Group, work at computer terminals during early trading at the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday July17, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The markets continued yesterday’s rally as oil kept falling—hitting a low of $131 a barrel for the first time in 6 weeks—and traders bought up financial shares with renewed confidence, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Dow gained 207.38 points to close at 11,446.66; its 484-point jump since yesterday is the best two-day gain since November. The Nasdaq rose 27.45 to 2,312.30, and the S&P 500 climbed 14.96 to 1,260.31.

JP Morgan led financials to rally after disclosing a 53% drop in second-quarter net income that nonetheless beat analysts' predictions. "The bank shares have gotten killed in the last month because the market was in fear that the US financial system itself was deteriorating,” said a Miller Tabak strategist. “So there is a massive sigh of relief that these numbers are…better than expectations.”