U.S. Stocks Rise for First Time in 2008


U.S. stocks advanced for the first time this year, led by utilities and drugmakers, as investors snapped up companies least affected by an economic slowdown.

Celgene Corp., a maker of cancer treatments, climbed after it forecast a 45 percent jump in 2008 earnings. Biogen Idec Inc. rose after saying profit last year exceeded its projections. FirstEnergy Corp. led gains in utilities, the only industry group to post an advance this year. AT&T Inc., the largest U.S. phone company, climbed after Deutsche Bank AG said the shares may rise more than 20 percent.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index advanced 5.83, or 0.4 percent, to 1,417.46 as of 10:09 a.m. in New York, rebounding from its worst start to a year since 2000. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 32.84, or 0.3 percent, to 12,833.02. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 3.45, or 0.1 percent, to 2,508.1.

U.S. stocks dropped last week as reports on jobs and manufacturing increased concern the economy will shrink. Gross domestic product grew at a 1 percent pace in the fourth quarter after expanding 4.9 percent the previous three months, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Utilities have been the best performing industry group since the S&P 500 rose to a record on Oct. 9.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
1/7/2008 7:20:37 AM