The broad indexes all saw gains of over 1%, mainly on rumors that China's first-quarter gross domestic product report tonight could show a surprisingly strong annualized growth rate of 9%.
Investors also reacted positively to comments on Wednesday night by Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellin, describing a "subdued inflation environment," while saying she expected "the economic recovery to continue--indeed, to strengthen somewhat over time," and making a strong case that "a highly accommodative policy stance to be appropriate in present circumstances."
The KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) rose 2% to close at 48.69, with all 24 index components showing gains of at least 1%.Getting back to Morgan Stanley, the investment bank's shares have now returned 21% year-to-date, following a 44% decline during 2011. The shares trade for just 0.7 times the company's reported Dec. 30 tangible book value of $27.95, and for eight times the consensus 2013 earnings estimate of $2.31 a share, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The consensus 2012 earnings per share estimate stands at $1.93.
Philip van Doorn. To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/PhilipvanDoorn.
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