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Afternoon Business Brief

September 19, 2008, 3:35 PM

Afternoon Business Brief

Wall Street closed out a tumultuous, historic trading week with strong gains. Investors sent financial stocks up sharply on news of the government's rescue plan for the industry. The key averages ended little changed from a week ago, but the journey was a wild one.

  • Based on preliminary data, the Dow today gained nearly 369 points to 11,388.  The S&P rose 48 points to 1,254. And the Nasdaq composite surged about 75 points to 2,273.

  • Advancing issues had a nearly 7 to 1 lead over decliners. NYSE volume came to 8.6 billion shares. Nasdaq stock market volume was 3.8 billion shares.

  • The federal government has announced actions designed to stand behind $2 trillion of assets in money market funds, which had seen some threat this week from massive redemptions. The Treasury plans to tap a $50 billion fund created during the Depression to provide guarantees for the money market assets.

  • There's some good news for seniors looking to make ends meet. The monthly premium for most elderly and disabled covered by Medicare will hold steady at $96.40 next year.

  • General Motors is recalling more than 42,000 Saturn Vue crossovers because of a risk of engine fire from a fluid leak. The recall involves vehicles from the 2008 and 2009 model years. GM says there have been four reports of fire, but no injuries.

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