Stocks Build on Gains

Wall Street adds to early gains after President Bush extends short-term loans to Ford and Chrysler.
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Updated from 9:55 a.m. EST

Stocks on Wall Street advanced upward Friday after President Bush said the U.S. government would drop a $17.4 billion lifeline to two ailing Detroit automakers

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 130 points to 8735, and the

S&P 500

tacked on 17 points to 902. The

Nasdaq

added 36 points to 1588.

President Bush said the U.S. government will extend

$13.4 billion in loans to automakers

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

and

Chrysler

in December and January through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), with another $4 billion available in February. The companies have been charged with the task of showing financial viability by March.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson argued that Congress should now release the second half of the $700 billion in TARP fund, which was set up in October to bail out struggling financial institutions. Paulson said the government's reservation of $17.5 billion of said funds for the automakers signals the allocation of the first $350 billion.

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said Thursday that an "orderly bankruptcy" was a possibility for the automakers. And Bush said in his Friday address, "If we were to allow the free market to take its course now, it would lead to disorderly bankruptcy and liquidation for the automakers."

In company news,

Panasonic

(PC)

said it will acquire competing Japanese electronics maker

Sanyo

for up to $9 billion through a public tender offer.

Thursday after the close,

Research In Motion

(RIMM)

gave a fourth quarter outlook ahead of Wall Street expectations. Nevertheless, Cowen

downgraded

the stock to underperform.

Meanwhile,

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

said its second-quarter revenue came in below analysts' estimates, but executives reassured investors. Shares of both RIM and Oracle were trading higher on Friday.

Debt rating agency Standard & Poor's lowered its rating for 11 financial institutions including

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

,

Deutsche Bank

(DB) - Get Report

,

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

and

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

.

Moving to commodities, crude oil was recently rising 38 cents to $36.60 a barrel. Gold was down $19.80 to $840.80 an ounce.

Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were falling in price. The 10-year was down 10/32 to yield 2.1% and the 30-year was falling 1 6/32, yielding 2.6%. The dollar was stronger against the euro and pound, and weaker versus the yen.

Overseas, European exchanges such as the FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were mixed - with the former down 0.3% and the latter up 0.2%, respectively. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended lower.

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