July 20, 2009

U.S. stocks close up on bullish calls, CIT

U.S. stock indexes closed up Monday on earnings optimism, bullish analyst calls and news of a deal to keep lender CIT Group Inc. afloat.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 104.21 points, or 1.19 percent, to close at 8,848.15 in its sixth consecutive day of gains. The close also turned the Dow positive for the year.

The broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 10.75 points, or 1.14 percent, at 951.13.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Monday raised its annual forecast for the S&P 500, saying an improvement in earnings would drive a sharp second-half rally. Goldman also raised its year-end S&P 500 target to 1,060, reflecting a potential price return of about 12 percent from Monday levels.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange topped 4.9 billion shares traded.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index added 22.68 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,909.29.

In London, the benchmark FTSE 100 index 54.87 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 4,443.62, its highest close since June 11. The DAX blue chip stock market index in Frankfurt rose 51.75 points, or 1.04 percent, at 5,030.15. The CAC-40 in France was 52.48 points, or 1.63 percent, higher at 3,270.94.

In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed up 696.71 points, or 3.7 percent, at 19,502.37, finishing at its highest level since September 2008. Japanese markets were closed for the Marine Day holiday, a day of gratitude for the oceans' blessings and to hope for maritime Japan's economic prosperity.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose 12/32, yielding 3.61 percent, while the 30-year bond was up 14/32, yielding 4.515 percent.

The U.S. dollar declined against every major currency. It fell to 94.29 yen from 94.36 yen in New York late Friday. The euro, in U.S. dollars, rose to $1.4228 from $1.4099.