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Stocks Soar on Wall Street as Markets Bounce Back from Worst Rout in 20 Years

The Dow Jones Industrial Average Monday registered its biggest daily point gain ever, gaining 936 points or 11 percent. The Bush administration is expected to unveil a plan to spend up to $250 billion buying stock in private banks so that they can raise money and resume normal lending. Government and industry sources say President Bush will announce the plan at the White House Tuesday. VOA's Barry Wood reports that Wall Street's powerful rally followed new commitments of public money to unfreeze credit markets.

The rally was sparked by commitments from the major financial nations to cooperate in getting the credit markets functioning again.

On Sunday, the major European Union nations committed more than $1 trillion to safeguard their banks and financial system. U.S. bankers were summoned to the Treasury Department on Monday as the U.S. government prepares additional measures to stabilize markets.

Monday was first day in nine trading sessions that Wall Street closed higher. Last week, U.S. markets were off more than 15 percent as the credit squeeze worsened and market participants were skeptical that government assistance was forthcoming. All that changed with the weekend statements from finance ministers at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank officials in Washington and European leaders in Paris.

In percentage terms, Monday's rally was the biggest advance in the Dow Industrials since 1933 and the point gain dwarfed the previous record gain of 499 points set during the technology bubble in early 2000. The Nasdaq index was up nearly 12 percent or 195 points.

European and Asian stock markets registered similar gains on Monday.

Oil rebounded from a 13-month low to close at about $81 a barrel. Gold prices fell some $11 to $838 an ounce.

Among the best performing stocks was Morgan Stanley, which rebounded by 80 percent after obtaining a big cash injection from Mitsubishi Bank of Japan.

Market analyst Brad Hintz of Sanford Bernstein in New York says former investment banks like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are being transformed.

"These are fine franchises," said Brad Hintz. "The model we're going to have going forward is going to be the wholesale bank. We've seen that before. That's the old Bankers Trust, that's the old JP Morgan. And Morgan Stanley and Goldman will go in that direction."

Speaking on Bloomberg Television, Hintz said both Goldman and Morgan Stanley will remain powerful franchises. He added that he is cautiously optimistic that inter-bank lending will increase soon.