The Dow closed past 9000, the highest level since November 2008, according to MSNBC.com:
Investors celebrated news of another jump in home sales by propelling the Dow Jones industrials to their first close above 9,000 since January.
Better-than-expected profits at some of the nation's biggest companies also lifted the market, giving the Dow a 188-point rally to finish at its highest level since November.
The Dow's gain was the latest jump — and not even the biggest — in a surge that has lifted the index 923 points, or 11 percent, in only nine days as hopes grow about an economic recovery.
The latest climb followed a report that sales of previously occupied homes rose for the third month in a row in June. Unemployment and a weak housing market have been two of investors' biggest worries so any sign of improvement is big news for the economy.
The National Association of Realtors said sales of previously occupied homes rose 3.6 percent in June. Sales came in at 4.89 million, above the 4.84 million analysts had been expecting.
Another batch of corporate profit reports also helped boost the market. Ford Motor Co. surprised investors with a profit of $2.3 billion, due mainly to a huge gain for debt reduction, while manufacturing conglomerate 3M Co. and candy maker Hershey Co. raised their profit forecasts for the year.
After a month of wayward trading, stocks began climbing again at the start of last week as companies like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Intel Corp. posted robust earnings.
"I don't think the market is signaling that we are fully healed at all but it is telling us that there is a strong likelihood that a recovery is under way," said Ciaran O'Kelly, head of equities, Americas, at Nomura Securities Intl. Inc. in New York.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow rose 188.03, or 2.1 percent, to 9,069.29. It was the highest finish for the blue chips since Nov. 5 and the first time the Dow has traded or closed above 9,000 since January. Even with the gains, the Dow is still far off its peak of 14,165 in October 2007.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 22.22, or 2.3 percent, to 976.29. It hasn't traded or closed above 1,000 since early November.
The Nasdaq composite index rose 47.22, or 2.5 percent, to 1,973.60, its 12th straight advance. The Nasdaq hasn't had a rally that long since a streak that ended Jan. 8, 1992.
My only question is, will Obama get the credit for this or are folks too busy looking at his birth certificate or complaining about his jeans?
Afterthought: Apparently not. Also from MSNBC.com: Worried Public Changes Obama's Deficit Message
The crime was (broken down) purposefully defrauding people, companies, retirement funds and charities out of an estimated $171 billion dollars, lying about it and continuing to hide funds after being caught with your accounts supposedly frozen... hmmm, sounds like he is getting exactly what he deserves. If you want to catch a really great breakdown of the entire mess, including an excellent explanation of how/why Ponzi schemes work, check out CNBC's Scam of the Century.
Word on the street (Wall Street, that is) is that he is really super-remorseful and had hoped from leniency from the judge. Well, this is good Old Testament consequence: You reap what you sow.
To pile on, Mrs. Madoff (who in my opinion needs to face a charge or two herself) threw Bernie straight under the bus saying she felt "betrayed" as well. Seriously, Ruth? Weren't you hotfooting around town cashing certified checks and hiding jewelry or was that just everyday behavior?
Many questions still remain, who are the co-conspirators? Where is the money? When Ruth files divorce papers, who is overseeing that settlement?
One thing is for sure, Bernie Madoff will die in prison, he has fallen far from his $7 million Manhattan "apartment" and has no one but himself to blame.
Did Bernie get what he deserved? If you were the judge, what would your sentence have been?