Today’s Stock Market Movers | Wednesday March 5, 2009

March 5th, 2009 by InvestorPoint

U.S. stock indexes rebounded Wednesday, ending a five day losing streak and a downward trend that included a Dow Jones industrial average skid of 299 points Monday.

Markets were up following China’s lead, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Shanghai composite index jumped 6 percent on news that China will increase spending on infrastructure and manufacturing

Unlike recent days in which markets started the day with rises, on Wednesday the gains held up to the close.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 149.82 points, up 2.23 percent, at 6,875.84. The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 2.38 percent, 16.54 points, to 712.87. The Nasdaq composite index gained 32.73 points, 2.48 percent, to 1,353.74.  The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies closed up 10.29 points or 2.85%.

Advancers outweighed by decliners on the New York Stock Exchange as 2,485 stocks advanced and 625 declined on a volume of 7.2 billion shares traded.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond fell 27/32 to yield 2.986 percent.

The euro rose to $1.2637, compared to Tuesday’s $1.2585. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar rose to 99.11 yen, compared to Tuesday’s 98.31 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei average gained 61.24 points to 7,290.96, up 0.85 percent.

In London, the FTSE 100 index gained 133.78 points, up 3.81 percent, to 3,645.87.

Caterpillar (CAT) a large exporter to China closed up over 13% on the news of increase spending.

Caterpillar provides construction and mining equipment; diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. It also provides financing alternatives to its customers.

Freeport McMoRan (FCX) shares rose over 13%.

Freeport is engaged in the copper, gold and molybdenum mining through its majority-owned subsidiary, PT Freeport Indonesia.

General Electric (GE) shares closed down over 4.5%, its fourth consecutive day of decline as investors showed concern about GE’s exposure to bad debt and its potential need to raise outside capital as well as weather GE will loses its prized AAA credit rating.

GE is a technology, media & financial services company, with products & services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing & security technology to medical imaging, business & consumer financing, media content & industrial products.

JP Morgan (JPM) stock was down over 8.1% and was the biggest loser of the Dow components.  In fact, financials as group were down over ongoing worries about the fate of struggling banks.

JP Morgan is a financial holding company whose activities are organized, for management reporting purposes, into six business segments: Investment Bank, Retail Financial Services, Card Services, Commercial Banking, Treasury & Securities Services and Asset Management.

Costco (COST) reported that its quarterly profits were down 27% as the company was forced to cut prices to win market share during the year end holiday season.  The company reported a profit of $239.7 million or 55 cents per share as opposed to $327.9 million or 74 cents per share a year ago.  Analysts had expected 60 cents per share.  Same store sales were down 3% and revenues were down 1% to $16.49 billion

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