Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks rose, adding to the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s best weekly gain in five years, after Halliburton Co.’s profit topped estimates and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke endorsed an economic stimulus package.
Halliburton, the world’s second-largest oilfield-services provider, jumped 14 per cent, while Exxon Mobil Corp. added 10 per cent. NRG Energy Inc. surged 29 per cent, the most since emerging from bankruptcy in 2003, on Exelon Corp.’s offer to buy the power producer for $6.2 billion. Energy companies, the industry with the highest estimated earnings growth this year, led the 30 per cent drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index from Aug. 31 to Oct. 10. The group rallied 11 per cent today.
“You’ve got significant rebound capability on these stocks,” Wayne Wilbanks, chief investment officer at Wilbanks Smith & Thomas, said of energy shares. “They took the brunt of the forced hedge-fund selling. There’s no other way to explain Halliburton going from $33 to $16 in three weeks.” Norfolk, Virginia-based Wilbanks manages $1.2 billion.
The S&P 500 rallied 44.85, or 4.8 per cent, to 985.40. The Dow surged 413.21, or 4.7 per cent, to 9,265.43, with all 30 of its companies increasing. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 58.74, or 3.4 per cent, to 1,770.03. More than five stocks advanced for each that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.
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