Stocks closed with mild gains today even as US firms announced roughly 50,000 job cuts, the Wall Street Journal reports. The market was buoyed by a report that home sales are picking up as buyers take advantage of low prices. The Dow closed up 38.47 at 8,116.03. The Nasdaq gained 12.17 to close at 1,489.46, and the S&P 500 rose 4.62, settling at 836.57.
The acquisition of Wyeth by Pfizer also generated confidence: “To see anything get done in this environment is great,” said one analyst. GM said it would cut 2,000 jobs, adding to layoffs planned by Caterpillar, Sprint, and Home Depot. Traders treated the job-slashing firms on their individual merits: GM fell 2.6%, and Caterpillar 0.6%, but Sprint and Home Depot rose 1.6% and 4.5%, respectively.