Stocks Close Higher as Bailout Nears
Updated from 4:08 p.m. EDT
Stocks in New York maintained their gains into Thursday's close as a bailout for financial firms appeared ready to quickly pass through Congress.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 196.89 points, or 1.8%, at 11,022.06, and the S&P 500 climbed 23.31 points, or 2%, to 1209.18. The Nasdaq added 30.89 points, or 1.4%, to 2186.57.
On Wednesday, the three major indices finished narrowly mixed after a day of erratic trading. Investors were focused on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's $700 billion bailout plan for the financial sector.On Thursday afternoon, lawmakers appeared ready to move forward with the bailout package, raising hopes that the bill be finalized by Friday. "This crisis could result in a deflationary period, and that obviously would mean a prolonged, serious -- not recession, but depression," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners. However, the bailout plan is not without a price tag, he said. "It means the printing presses at Treasury will be running on full cylinders," said Cardillo, which means inflation remains a concern, "but it's the lesser of the two evils."
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