Business & Finance

Stocks post speediest rally since Great Depression


Stocks ended higher for three weeks in February with Friday rush that pushed the market to a bullish rally that’s rarely seen since the Great Depression.

U.S. equity funds gulped over $8 billion for the week, according to Thomsom Reuters Lipper data, although selling was wrapped with reluctance even as winners and losers post a narrowing spread.

“We’ve had one of the most impressive rallies in recent memory, but the fact is any dip is met with substantial buying power,” said Ryan Detrick, chief technical strategist at Schaeffer’s Investment Research in Cincinnati.

Some 7.2 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Amex and Nasdaq, albeit lower than last year’s daily average of 8.47 billion. The lack of sellers however, resulted to relatively few shares are changing hands.

“Volume hasn’t been normal for a bull market,” Detrick said. “The retail crowd has missed a good chunk of this rally.”

The recent market performance mirror most of 2010 that saw signs of U.S. economic recovery that is strengthening and U.S. equity indexes rising, with investors finding renewed appetite for stocks.

A net $8.72 billion flowed into U.S. the equity funds for the week ended Wednesday, which jumped four times from $2.04 billion in the prior week, according to Lipper data.

Also on Friday the Dow Jones industrial average raked in 73.11 points, or 0.59 percent, to 12,391.25. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 2.58 points, or 0.19 percent, to 1,343.01. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 2.37 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,833.95. Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a ratio of more than 4 to 3. On the Nasdaq, 1,345 advancers outweighed 1,283 falling stocks.

Jon Mills

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