new yorkDennis Seid 3/31/09
Wall Street rebounds
on last day of quarter
n NEW YORK – Stocks finished off their earlier highs on Tuesday but resumed a three-week rally that has brought the Dow Jones industrials up a total of 16 percent since hitting their lowest level in 12 years on March 9. The Dow rose 7.7 percent overall in March, its biggest monthly gain since October 2002.
On Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 86.90, or 1.2 percent, to 7,608.92, after earlier rising as much as 203 points. The Standard amp& Poor’s 500 index gained 10.34, or 1.3 percent, to 797.87, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 26.79, or 1.8 percent, to 1,528.59.
In other trading Tuesday, the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 6.78, or 1.6 percent, to 422.75.
U.S. home price drops
set records in January
n Home prices sank by the sharpest annual rate on record in January, and the pace continues to accelerate, but there were a handful of battered metro areas where price declines slowed, according to data released Tuesday.
The Standard amp& Poor’s/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 major cities tumbled by a record 19 percent from January 2008. It was the largest decline since the index started in 2000. The 10-city index dropped 19.4 percent, also a new record.
Cotton acreage to
decline from 2008
n NEW ORLEANS – U.S. farmers expect to plant 8.8 million acres of cotton this year, their fewest since 1983, with the low price for the crop and a high cost to produce it blamed.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its report on farmers’ planting intentions, said the largest percentage declines from 2008 are expected in four states, including Louisiana and Mississippi, where the acreage forecast would be the lowest on record.
Acreage nationwide has declined sharply since 2007, when farmers planted 10.8 million acres. The planting area fell to 9.5 million acres last year.