Wednesday, November 19, 2008

US stocks open higher as finance chiefs testify on bailout

NEW YORK - US stocks opened slightly higher on Tuesday amid persistent economic worries as investors focused on Congressional testimony by top officials on the government's financial rescue plan.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38.94 points (0.47 per cent) to 8,312.52 in opening trade and the Nasdaq climbed 11.15 points (0.75 per cent) to 1,493.20.

The broad Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 2.34 points (0.28 per cent) to 853.09.

The action came after a heavy sell-off on Monday, with the indices losing more than 2 per cent, after a weekend summit of the Group of 20 industrialised and emerging economies on the financial crisis failed to calm investor fears and global recession worries intensified.

'Concerns about the economy and the stock market's continued poor showing weighed heavily on sentiment,' said Patrick O'Hare, analyst at

He said the market would be focused on testimony by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chairwoman Sheila Bair before the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.

The three officials are to discuss the implementation of the US$700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program for the financial sector, amid growing calls to shore up the ailing auto industry. -- AFP

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