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While you were sleeping: BusinessWire overnight wrap

Thursday 27th November 2008

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Stocks on Wall Street rose for a fourth straight session, led by a jump in technology stocks that pushed the Nasdaq Composite index up 3.8% on perceptions companies like Apple Inc. have become relatively cheap after this month's rout.

The Nasdaq rose to 1518.58. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 3% to 883.27 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 2.3% to 8667.91.

Apple rose about 4% to US$94.30 and Microsoft Corp. gained 2.2% to US$20.43. General Motors led the Dow higher, surging 33% to US$4.76 heading into the Thanksgiving Day holiday in the US Lawmakers in Washington plan to consider a US$25 billion aid package for the auto industry over the break. Ford jumped 28% to US$2.13.

A Commerce Department report showed orders for durable goods tumbled twice as much as expected as weakening global growth sapped demand. A separate report showed American consumers cut their spending by 1% last month, the biggest drop in seven years.

US mortgage interest rates tumbled yesterday in response to the Federal Reserve's plan to buy US$600 billion of debt. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to about 5.5% from 6.38%, according to Bankrate Inc.

In the latest sign that the credit squeeze if still biting, Canadian telephone company BCE Inc. said the transaction that will take it private via a leveraged buyout may falter because of the amount of debt it would take on under the deal. Its stock tumbled as much as 40%.

Citigroup surged 20% to US$7.29 after the BCE statement on speculation it may help banks avoid potential writedowns from financing the world's second- largest leveraged buyout.

Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and other banks may chalk up US$44 billion in writedowns and impairment charges on bad loans in the fourth quarter, watering down the impact of the federal government's financial aid, according to Oppenheimer & Co.

Crude oil rose after China yesterday imposed the biggest interest rate cuts in 11 years to underpin the world's fastest growing major economy and a report showed fuel consumption in the US climbed last week.

Crude for January delivery rose 6.7% to US$54.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures have dropped 63 percent since reaching a record $147.27 on July 11.

China's move who boosted the price of copper on optimism demand will rise from the world's biggest consumer of the metal. Copper futures for March delivery rose 2.7% to US$1.699 a pound on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The metal also advanced on the European Union's announcement of a US$259 billion stimulus package for the region.

Gold snapped a five-day rally, declining as the US dollar gained and reduced demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment. Gold futures for February delivery dropped 0.6% to US$815.40 an ounce in New York.

The US dollar advanced against the euro and the yen as the prospects of a global economic slump lifted demand fro the greenback.

The dollar rose to $1.2902 per euro in New York from 1.3080. It strengthened to 95.75 yen from 95.22.
The European Union is coordinating a stimulus package equivalent to 1.5% of the EU's gross domestic product.

Stocks fell in Europe amid concern a recession in the US will weaken demand for the region's exports. The FTSE 100 Index fell 0.4% to 4152.69 on concern the global economic slump will erode demand for oil and cut corporate profits.

Royal Dutch Shell and BP Plc declined, as did HBOS and Standard Chartered. Germany's DAX 30 was little changed at 4560.500 and France's CAC 40 fell 1.2% to 3169.85.

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