- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 25, 2008

UPDATED:

U.S. stock markets ended mixed today though investors seemed encouraged by government plans to inject $800 billion into the economy to help consumers and mortgage backers.

The markets opened higher across the board in what appeared to be a third day of a rally following the biggest two-day market advance in 21 years then turned sour about midday with the release of more bad economic news. But two of the three major indexes ended on the upside.

The Commerce Department reported that third-quarter gross domestic produce dropped at a 0.5 percent annual rate, more than the 0.3 percent that was estimated in October. It marked the worst decline since growth fell at a rate of 1.4 percent in the third quarter of 2001, just after the 9/11 attacks.

But by days end, the Dow Jones Industrial was up 36.47 to close at 8479.86 and the Standard & Poors 500 rose 5.58to 857.39 The Nasdsaq dipped 7.29 to close at 1464.73.

The cost of a barrel of oil dropped $3.66 to $50.84, a decline from its opening of $52.83.

There was some good news about consumers just in time for the holiday shopping season. The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index rose unexpectedly in November to 44.9, up from a revised 38.8 in October the lowest reading since the board started tracking the index in 1967. The surprise was that economists had expected the index to sink to 37.9.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced shortly after the market opened that the government will pump $800 billion more into the economy, $200 billion of that to jump-start consumer lending and $600 billion to buy mortgage-backed securities and other debt from the three government-financed mortgage companies.

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