Chin Up in the Downswing: Financial Stocks Push Wall Street Rally; Geithner Says Market Recovery Has Begun; Future Bright for Solar Energy
by Anne Szustek
Rebounds on the financial markets, both today and over the past month, capture the spotlight today. Also, a solar company shows strong numbers, suggesting opportunities in green energy.
All three major Wall Street indices closed higher from today’s opening bell on the back of financial sector stocks, getting the second quarter of 2009 off to a good start. Traders are awaiting pending changes to mark-to-market accounting from the Financial Accounting Standards Board, a private, nonprofit organization that establishes accounting standards in the United States. The FASB “is likely to give banks leeway in how they price distressed assets, providing strength to balance sheets and, hopefully, a marketplace for the toxic loans that are hammering capital ratios,” reports CNBC. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 152.68 points, or 2.01 percent, to finish the day at 7,761.6. The Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 1.66 percent, to end Wednesday trading at 811.08 and the Nasdaq closed at 1,551.6, marking a rise of 1.51 percent for the day.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said today during a Bloomberg interview that the financial markets have recently shown “encouraging signs,” echoing the view of several economists that the global economy is beginning to rebound from the recession that officially started in December 2007. Cases in point: the S&P 500 has gone up 21 percent since March 6. The S&P Financials index has gone up 56 percent. According to Bloomberg, “stocks have rallied in the past month on signs that U.S. bank earnings improved since the start of the year and after the Federal Reserve and Treasury stepped up efforts to thaw credit markets.”
Building on the March 19 edition of Chin Up, which profiled opportunities for development in wind energy, there are some positive prospects for a solar energy company, 24/7 Wall St. reports. Spire Corporation, which 24/7 Wall St. calls “a small-cap supplier of turnkey solar factories and capital equipment,” showed mostly positive numbers for fourth-quarter and full-year 2008, according to reports released yesterday. The company’s revenues grew to $19.7 million, marking a year-on-year increase of 69 percent from 2007.