- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 26, 2008

UPDATED:

Wall Street ignored dismal economic news from the government today and posted its fourth consecutive day of gains, with the Dow surging nearly 250 points in a Thanksgiving rally.

Stocks started the holiday eve lower, seeming to reflect pessimistic consumer, housing and factory reports from the Commerce Department and the Labor Department that pointed to a deepening recession.

But they reversed themselves by midday after President-elect Barack Obama, in his third news conference about the economy in as many days, announced the creation of an economic recovery panel that will be headed by Paul Volcker.

Mr. Volcker chaired the Federal Reserve Board under Presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter.

“Help is on the way,” Mr. Obama said.

His assurances may have boosted investor confidence.

By the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial average was up 247.14 to 8726.61, or a rise of 2.91 percent. The broader Standard & Poors 500 was up 30.28 to 887.67, an increase of 3.53 percent, and the Nasdaq, which is heavy on technical stocks, soared 67.37 to 1532.10, a jump of 4.60 percent.

Declines hit the stock market at the open for the first time in four successive sessions following the grim economic forecasts, which included further drops in October in consumer spending, housing sales and a whopping 6.2 percent decline in orders for durable goods such as autos and aircraft.

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