US stocks surge, with Apple, Williams-Sonoma strong

US stocks surge, with Apple, Williams-Sonoma strong


New York: As stocks came storming back Wednesday, 29 August, Apple helped ignite a tech rally, housing-related stocks like Williams-Sonoma enjoyed rare hospitality and PDL BioPharma plummeted.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 247.44, or 1.9%, to 13,289.29, as all 30 members advanced. The gain helped the Dow largely recover from its 280.28-point drop on Tuesday and was the average’s best upward move since 6 August.

The Nasdaq Composite Index marked its best session in more than a year, rising 62.52, or 2.5%, to 2,563.16. The advance more than recouped Tuesday’s 60.61 drop.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 31.40, or 2.2%, to 1,463.76, with 484 members advancing and just about regaining the prior session’s 34.43 loss.

The New York Stock Exchange Composite Index gained 219.43, or 2.4%, to 9,508.92, also close to regaining its Tuesday drop, of 239.44.

Strength from the technology group was a key catalyst. Shares received a lift with the release of a letter from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke to Senator Chuck Schumer, in which Bernanke said that policy makers are “prepared to act as needed" if financial-market turmoil begins to harm the broader economy.

“The letter indicates Bernanke is not going to let the market go into a tailspin and that’s the kind of comfort investors are looking for," said Doug Roberts, chief investment strategist for Channel Capital Research.

Apple shares climbed 7.26, or 5.7%, to 134.08. A meeting the consumer electronic products maker is planning for next week is widely expected to focus on a new version of its iPod digital music and video player.

Comments about Apple also appeared to help galvanize the tech group as Goldman Sachs and UBS spoke positively about demand for the company’s Macintosh computers.

Among computer makers, Dow industrial Hewlett-Packard rose 1.54, or 3.3%, to 48.42 and Dell (Nasdaq) advanced 97 cents, or 3.6%, to 27.86.