Chin Up in the Downswing: Wall Street Up for 5th Week in a Row: Obama, Economists See “Glimmers of Hope”
by Anne Szustek
Some upbeat business stories on April 10, 2009: Stocks were up for the fifth consecutive week; President Obama sees positive signs in the nation’s economy, as do economists, who project the recovery to begin in September.
Belief that banks will fare well in upcoming government stress tests and financial sector buoyancy over Wells Fargo’s forecasted $3 billion in first-quarter profits were behind the fifth week of Wall Street’s longest rebound since 1933. “The S&P 500 gained 1.7 percent to 856.56. It has soared 27 percent since March 9,” Bloomberg reported. “The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.8 percent to 8,083.38 this week.” It was a four-day trading week in the United States, as Wall Street’s exchanges were closed in observance of Good Friday.
President Barack Obama did not say the economy had reached its inflection point; however, after a Friday meeting with economic and regulatory groups and Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke, he noted to reporters that the country’s economic situation is showing "glimmers of hope” and that “we’re starting to see progress.” The president’s statements come a day after White House economic adviser Larry Summers projected the economy would come out of “freefall” by mid-2009.
A group of 54 economists polled April 3-6 by The Wall Street Journal say they believe the economy will begin to rebound in September, citing production and inventory reductions made last year—manufacturers will have to produce to meet demand—as well as governmental fiscal and monetary policy moves such as the stimulus plan and the Treasury’s plan to buy up banks’ toxic debt. The Journal writes that this latest poll shows more optimism compared to last month, when the respondents predicted an October end to the current recession.