Stocks Rally to End the Week, Dow Hits 13,000

By: From CNN Money
By: From CNN Money


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks rallied Friday on hopes that central banks in Europe and the United States will take steps to support the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 188 points, or 1.5%, to end above the 13,000 mark, a psychologically important level it has not crossed since early May.

The S&P 500 added 26 points, or 1.9%, and the Nasdaq gained 65 points, or 2.2%. The major indexes are all ended higher for the week. The Dow rose 2% for the week, the S&P added 1.7% and the Nasdaq gained 1.1%.

Friday's rally was driven mainly by "chatter" the European Central Bank will intervene in the bond market to ease borrowing costs for Spain and Italy, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.

"Stocks are moving higher on the hopes that we finally will see some action to stabilize the situation in Europe," said Cardillo.

French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a joint statement Friday that they are "committed to do everything to protect the eurozone." ECB president Mario Draghi said Thursday that the bank will do "whatever it takes" to preserve the euro.

Draghi will meet this weekend with officials from the German central bank, which has resisted buying bonds in the secondary market, ahead of next week's policy meeting, according to Bloomberg. The wire service said Draghi is pushing a plan to buy bonds, lower interest rates and offer additional liquidity to European banks.
Fear & Greed Index

Meanwhile, investors also responded to the latest U.S. economic data and corporate reports. The U.S. economy grew at a 1.5% annual rate in the second quarter of 2012, down from a 2% rate in the first three months of the year, according to the government.

While the report was slightly better than expected, the outlook for growth remains lackluster as the weak job market curtails consumer spending. Many traders expect the Federal Reserve, which also meets next week, to take additional steps to stimulate growth.


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