Stocks Surge as Europe Debt Concerns Ease

U.S. stocks on Wednesday finished higher for their first session in four as fears about Europe’s debt troubles abated and the Federal Reserve found modest economic expansion. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 275.56 points, or 2.47%, to 11,414.86. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 33.38 points, or 2.86%, to 1,198.62 and the Nasdaq Composite Index tacked on 75.11 points, or 3.04%, to end at 2,548.94.

Germany’s top court handed its country’s parliament a greater say over euro zone bailouts, potentially hampering Berlin’s ability to act decisively against a debt crisis which Chancellor Angela Merkel said needed a fundamental rethink to solve.The Constitutional Court rejected a series of lawsuits aimed at blocking the participation of Europe’s biggest economy in emergency loan packages but said the government must get approval from parliament’s budget committee before granting such aid.

The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book showed weak to modest economic expansion in the central bank’s twelve districts over the latter part of the summer, leaving the door open to an announcement of further Fed action in late September.

Companies in July advertised the most jobs in three years, and layoffs declined — a bit of hope for a weak economy. Still, many employers are in no rush to fill openings. The Labor Department said Wednesday that employers increased their postings to 3.23 million from 3.17 million in June. That is the largest number of openings since August 2008.

The Energy Department’s inspector general said Wednesday that state and local governments have left as much $879 million unspent from a $2.7 billion program intended to boost energy efficiency and create jobs. That is a big change from a year ago, when less than 10 percent of the grant money had been spent, but is far below what the Obama administration projected when the stimulus was approved in 2009.

Best Buy Co said on Wednesday it will offer products online from other sellers through a new third-party Marketplace as the electronics retailer tries to better compete with Internet rivals and eBay Inc.

The Italian Senate on Wednesday approved the government’s widely criticized austerity program aimed at staving off financial crisis in a vote of confidence called by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.


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