Stocks Rally, Boosted by Fed

U.S. stocks surged Wednesday, with the Dow industrials breaking 12,000, after the Federal Reserve and other central banks moved to help banks hit by Europe’s debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 490.05 points, or 4.24%, to 12,045.68, up 0.8% for November. The S&P 500 Index rose 51.77 points, or 4.33%, to 1,246.96, down 0.5% for the month. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 104.83 points, or 4.17%, to 2,620.34, off 2.4% from the end of October.

The attempt by major central banks to ease strains on Europe’s credit markets certainly cheered financial markets on Wednesday. The participation of the central banks of Canada, England, Japan and Switzerland is more of an effort to show that all the central bankers are working together than any expectation that there will be lots of dollar borrowings under their facility.

Guess Inc.late Wednesday reported its third-quarter profit attributable to Guess fell to $66.3 million, or 71 cents a share, from $69.1 million, or 75 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue increased to $642.8 million from $613.9 million. In the fourth quarter, Guess expects earnings of $1.03 to $1.09 a share and revenue of $780 million to $795 million.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts late Wednesday reported its fiscal third-quarter profit rose to $4.7 million, or 7 cents a share, from $2.4 million, or 3 cents a share, in the same 2010 period. Sales increased 9.4% to $98.7 million. Same-store sales were up for the 12th consecutive quarter, rising 4%. For its next fiscal year, Krispy Kreme gave a preliminary forecast for earnings between 35 cents to 41 cents a share.

Walt Disney Co. said late Wednesday its board hiked the annual dividend 50% to 60 cents a share. The dividend is payable on Jan. 18 to shareholders as of Dec. 16. Last year, Disney raised its annual dividend to 40 cents a share from 35 cents a share.

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