Wall Street begins 2nd quarter slightly higher

April 1, 2009 1:11:49 PM PDT
Wall Street is beginning the second quarter on solid footing as better-than-expected economic reports help the market extend a four-week rally. After falling in the early going on disappointing jobs data, stocks are closing higher following reports showing a rebound in pending home sales and improving manufacturing activity.

Financial stocks led the market higher, followed by big gains in the technology and energy sectors.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up 151 points, or 2 percent, at 7,762. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 13, or 1.7 percent, at 811. The Nasdaq composite index is up 23, or 1.5 percent, at 1,552.

Three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1.5 billion shares.

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