August 11, 2008

Wall Street Rallies As Oil Falls

Wall Street rallies as oil falls

NEW YORK, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Wall Street soared Friday led by retailers and airlines, as investors speculated lower commodity prices will boost corporate earnings.

A steep decline in oil appeared to help shore up investor sentiment. Light, sweet crude fell more than four U.S. dollars to 115.88 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, as the U.S. dollar saw its biggest advance against the euro in four years.

Retailers such as Home Depot, Macy's and Gap climbed. Besides, United Airlines parent UAL jumped nearly 10 percent, as oil prices plummeted.

However, Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. mortgage-finance company, sliced its dividend to five cents from 35 cents, after the company reported a loss of 2.3 billion dollars, or 2.54 dollars a share. The loss was more than triple what Wall Street expected. Fannie tumbled in morning trading.

Ahead of the opening bell, the U.S. Labor Department reported that productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent during the second quarter. That was down from a 2.6 percent growth rate logged in the first quarter. Meanwhile, unit labor costs slipped to a 1.3 percent pace in the second quarter, from a 2.5 percent growth rate in the first quarter.

The Dow Jones rose 206.81 to 11,638.24. Broader indexes also traded higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 18.53 to 1, 284.60; and the Nasdaq rose 41.87 to 2,397.60.

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