May 29, 2009

Markets post third positive month

U.S. markets closed higher Friday, adding the month of May to a string of positive months that now stand at three in a row.

The three-month burst matches a streak that ended October 2007 when markets hit record highs.

The Commerce Department said Friday the first quarter gross domestic product fell 5.7 percent, an improvement over the 6.1 percent decline estimated a month ago.

With an earlier estimate out a month ago, the improved numbers provided a small boost.

By close, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 96.53 points, 1.15 percent to 8,500.33. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 1.36 percent, 12.31 points, to 919.14. The Nasdaq composite index gained 22.54, 1.29 percent to 1.774.33.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 2,232 stocks advanced and 779 declined on a volume of 6 billion shares traded.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond rose 1 7/32 to yield 3.463 percent.

The euro rose to $1.4137, compared to Thursday's $1.3941. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar fell to 95.24 yen, compared to Thursday's 96.92 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei average rose 0.75 percent, 71.11, to 9,522.50.

In London, the FTSE 100 index rose 0.69 percent, 30.40, to 4,417.94.