Markets Rise as Credit Eases

Volatility probably ahead; oil prices up, too
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2008 8:46 AM CDT
Specialists George F. Moerler, right, accompanied by a Broker, left, watch the monitor as they work on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange, Oct. 17, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Stocks rose at the open today, as investors saw signs the credit markets are easing, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Dow rose 104 points, while the Nasdaq and S&P saw modest 1.5% and 1.2% bumps, respectively. Stocks in Europe and Asia generally rose as well. We could be “near the end of a very extreme panic,” one analyst said said, thanks mainly to government action.

The overnight lending rate tumbled to 1.5125% from Friday’s 1.66875%, bringing it within a whisker of the Fed’s 1.5% target. Oil rose $1.68, to $73.81 a barrel. Among US stocks, AIG rose 8.1% pre-market on reports that Prudential PLC might buy its Asian operations, while NRG energy jumped 27% on reports Exelon was attempting to buy it for $6.2 billion.