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While you were sleeping: BusinessWire overnight wrap

Tuesday 12th August 2008

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Stocks on Wall Street rallied after crude oil fell to a 14-week low.

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.7% to 1,305.32. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.4% to 11,782.35 and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 1.1% to 2,439.95.

General Motors Corp. rose 7.3% chief executive Rick Wagoner told the Financial Times the automaker's struggle to curb labour, health-care and pension costs are "largely behind us." American Express rose 3.6% to $39.17, leading gains in financial stocks.

Amazon.com rose 9.4% to US$88.09, its biggest advance in two weeks, amid speculation it will exceed expectations with sales of its Kindle reading devices.

Fannie Mae fell 7.2% to US$8.40 and Freddie Mac declined 5.1% to $5.60 after S&P cut ratings on the mortgage lenders' preferred stock and subordinated debt.

Oil Weakens

Oil for September delivery fell 0.7% to $114.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on speculation a slowing US economy will reduce demand for fuel.

The slide in crude oil and other commodities helped lift the US dollar to its highest level in five months.

The dollar rose to $1.4899 per euro in New York, from $1.5005 on August 8. It earlier reached $1.4881, the strongest level since February. The dollar was little changed at 110.16 yen.

Gold fell to the lowest level this year as the US dollar strengthened.

Gold futures for December delivery dropped 4.2% to $828.30 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

AngloGold Ashanti and other gold producers cut their forward sales by 4.06 million ounces in the second quarter to the lowest since 1987, according to researcher GFMS said.

US economic growth will probably slow in the second half, according to the closely watched Blue Chip Economic Indicators newsletter. Annual GDP may grow 1.2% and slow to just 0.3% in the fourth quarter.

European government bonds declined after a central bank official said the ECB remains focused on inflation.

The yield on two-year notes rose three basis points to 4.09%. The yield on the German bund was little changed at 4.26%.

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