December 26, 2008

U.S. markets close up Friday

U.S. stock indexes rose Friday on a quiet trading day with many Wall Street offices closed for an extended Christmas holiday break.

GMAC shares rose sharply, up 91 percent, after the Federal Reserve granted the automotive financial firm permission to change its charter to a bank holding company. Ford Motor Co. gained 8 percent, riding on GMAC's coattails. But General Motors Corp., which will have to divest the bulk of its GMAC shares, fell 1.37 percent.

By close, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 47.07 points, or 0.56 percent to 8,515.55. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.54 percent, 4.65 points, to 872.80. The Nasdaq composite index gained 5.34 points, 0.35 percent, to 1,530.24.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 2,284 stocks advanced and 772 declined on a volume of 1.6 billion shares traded.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond rose 16/32 to yield 2.135 percent.

The dollar was mixed Friday. The euro rose to $1.4054, compared to Wednesday's $1.4004. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar rose to 90.73 yen, up from 90.41 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei average gained 140.02 points to 8,739.52, up 1.63 percent.

In London, the FTSE 100 index fell 0.93 percent, 39.39 points, to 4,216.59.