U.S. stocks rose on Thursday in their biggest two-day rally since November after government leaders agreed on a plan to pay tax rebates to stimulate the U.S. economy and after shares of cell- phone chip maker Qualcomm and Xerox Corp surged, pushing up the Nasdaq.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 108.44 points, or 0.88 percent, to settle at 12,378.61. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 13.47 points, or 1.01 percent, at 1,352.07. The Dow fell 326 points yesterday before ending the day 299 points higher. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 44.51 points, or 1.92 percent and closed at 2,360.92.
Congressional leaders and the White House announced an economic stimulus package that would give most tax filers refunds of $600 to $1,200, and more if they have children. The package will give a total of 117 million to U.S. families.
The agreement followed shortly after President Bush said last week that a proposal was in the works. Today's trading marked only the second time the market has achieved back-to-back gains this year.
Xerox, the world's largest maker of color printers, climbed the most in two years after and increased revenue by introducing new products. The company rose $1.08, or 8.2 percent, to $14.33 on the New York Stock Exchange. Fourth-quarter earnings rose 79 percent after the company sold new devices that print, copy, fax and scan.
Technology shares spiked after Qualcomm Inc posted a growth in quarterly profit which relieved investors by demonstrating that the mobile phone sector was still growing even though the economy was slowing. The company's shares rose 10.3 percent to $40.41.
Shares of Nokia, the world's largest mobile-phone maker, rallied 12.5 percent after it reported stronger gains than the previous forecast of 44 percent profit rise. AT&T dropped 2.6 percent after it reported a 62 percent profit rise in the fourth quarter