Stocks post strong gains

/ Source: The Associated Press

Wall Street rebounded sharply Monday as a recovery in the dollar motivated investors to pick up shares following two weeks of declines.

“The stronger dollar is helping out,” said Peter Cardillo, president and chief strategist of Global Partner Securities Inc. “We had a rather sloppy week last week ... and traditionally the week of Thanksgiving is usually a positive week for stocks.”

“With the dollar improving and a slew of economic numbers coming out later this week, I suspect the market is playing catch-up,” he said.

By mid-afternoon, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 102, having fallen 1.4 percent in the previous week.

The broader market was also higher. The Nasdaq composite index gained 35, following a weekly loss of 1.9 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 14, following a decline of 1.4 percent last week.

The market has fallen in recent weeks as investors grappled with fears about a weakening dollar and concerns that stock prices might be a bit high. Last week, the dollar slid to a new low against the euro, raising worries of dampened foreign investment in the United States.

Still, analysts say investors remain largely optimistic about the economy. Reports due out later this week on consumer confidence, durable goods orders and personal income and spending should also give investors stronger clues about the strength of the recovery, they said.

Boston Scientific Corp. climbed $1.78 to $35.69 after Johnson & Johnson lost a court bid to block the company’s device off the market.

Delta Air Lines Inc. rose 54 cents to $11.97 after the company said Leo F. Mullin will retire Jan. 1 as chairman and chief executive. Gerald Grinstein, a 16-year member of the board, will replace Mullins as CEO; John F. Smith Jr. the presiding director of Delta’s board, will become nonexecutive chairman.

Adobe Systems Inc. gained $1.70 to $41.06 after UBS raised the company’s stock rating to “buy” from “neutral.”

Decliners included Boeing Co., which fell 24 cents to $38.62, after the company fired two of its executives, citing misconduct related to the hiring of one of the executives, a former Air Force official.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners nearly 3 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume came to 664.97 million shares, compared with 668.45 million traded at the same point Friday.

The Russell 2000 index, a barometer of smaller company stocks, rose 9.04, or 1.7 percent, to 534.97.

In Europe, France’s CAC-40 rose 1.4 percent, Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 1.5 percent and Germany’s DAX index climbed 2.6 percent. Japan’s financial markets were closed Monday for Labor Thanksgiving Day, a national holiday.