- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Investors have been clamoring for months for a bit of good news. On Thursday, they got a load of it.

The Dow Jones industrials shot up 240 points, bringing its gains over the past three days to 622 points. It was the index’s biggest three-day jump since last November.

This week’s rally got an extra dose of adrenalin after an accounting board told Congress Thursday it may recommend a let-up in accounting rules for troubled banks in three weeks.

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Hope that financial institutions might finally get relief in how they value their bad assets spurred a flurry of buying on Wall Street, which accelerated when Bank of America Corp.’s CEO told reporters his bank was profitable in January and February. Citigroup Inc. triggered this week’s rally Tuesday with similar remarks.

“We might find that the banks are not as bad, or not bad at all, if these assets are marked differently,” said Doreen Mogavero, president of the New York floor brokerage Mogavero, Lee & Co.

Stocks also got a boost as retail sales figures came in better than anticipated, General Electric Co. got its credit rating cut by less than expected and General Motors Corp. said it will not need a $2 billion loan it previously requested from the government.

“There’s a lot of money on the sidelines, and a lot of people who’ve been waiting for the turn to come,” Mogavero said.

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow rose 239.66, or 3.5 percent, to 7,170.06. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 29.38, or 4.1 percent, to 750.74. The Nasdaq composite index gained 54.46, or 4 percent, to 1,426.10.

After a modest decline Monday and three days of buying, the Dow is up 8.2 percent so far for the week. The S&P; 500 index is up 9.9 percent and the Nasdaq is up 10.2 percent.

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