US GDP report shows sharpest decline in seven years

US GDP report shows sharpest decline in seven years
# 31 October 2008 09:05 (UTC +04:00)
Wall Street showed some welcome signs of stability Thursday, taking a downbeat gross domestic product report in stride and driving the Dow Jones industrial average up nearly 190 points in relatively calm trading. Even the last half-hour of the session, lately a period of turbulent activity, was comparatively quiet.
The market that a week ago was reeling from fears about recession was more composed after the Commerce Department’s report that GDP fell at an annual rate of 0.3 percent during the third quarter — its worst showing in seven years. Analysts expected a 0.5 percent decline in GDP, the broadest measure of economic growth or contraction, but while the report was better than expected, it still pointed to an economy that is shrinking. The Dow rose 189.73, or 2.11 percent, to 9,180.69. Broader stock indicators also finished higher. The S&P 500 index rose 24.00, or 2.58 percent, to 954.09, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 41.31, or 2.49 percent, to 1,698.52.
New York’s benchmark contract, light sweet crude for December delivery fell US$1.41 (S$2.09) to US$64.55 a barrel. It declined US$1.54 to close at US$65.96 in US trade on Thursday.
Brent North Sea crude for December tumbled US$1.31 to US$62.40 a barrel, after dropping US$1.76 to settle at US$63.71 in London the previous day. AP, AFP
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