Wall Street stock indices closed higher on Friday, ending one of the best weeks in three decades, as banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co moved to tackle the housing crisis at the centre of the economic downturn in the United States, dpa reported.
JPMorgan Chase said it would suspend foreclosures proceedings as it works to modify the terms of 110-billion-dollars worth of mortgages. Financial shares gained 12 per cent on Friday.
More than 3 million foreclosures since 2007, a record caused by a sharp downturn in housing prices, have cost financial institutions more than 500 billion dollars. A report Friday by First American CoreLogic, a data supplier, said more than 7.5 million mortgage holders, 18 per cent of the total, owned properties worth less than they still owed the bank.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 144.32 points, or 1.57 per cent, to 9,325.01. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 was up 14.66 points, or 1.54 per cent, to 968.75. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 22.43 points, or 1.32 per cent, to 1,720.95.
For the week, the S&P 500 climbed 10 per cent, the strongest gain since 1974. But that could not stop a 17-per-cent slide over the course of October, the largest drop since 1987, according to Bloomberg News.
The dollar dipped slightly against the Japanese currency to 98.47 yen from 98.58 yen on Thursday. The dollar climbed against the euro to 78.58 euro cents from 77.21 euro cents.