The Dow closed at 13,378.87 today, up 142.99 on strong durable goods orders and a better-than-expected home sales forecast. The S&P 500 jumped 16.87 to 1,479.37, and the Nasdaq rose 34.99 to 2,576.69. Nucor Corp., the second-largest American steel manufacturer, spearheaded the rally with a 7% gain following a favorable report from Merrill Lynch.
Countrywide closed at $21, down $1.02, the sharpest drop on the S&P 500. That index rose 2.3% for the week, its best performance since March, Bloomberg reports. Analysts chalked up the positive moves to the Fed's surprise cut in the discount rate a week ago, boosting confidence: "We don't see a recession in the cards,'' said one portfolio manager.