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U.S. Stocks Advance as Buffett’s Buying Offsets Housing Data

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Eric Martin
BLOOMBERG
Friday, October 17, 2008

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks gained and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index extended its best weekly advance in five years as Warren Buffett’s advice to buy and Google Inc.’s earnings offset a report showing the housing slump worsened.

Google jumped 9 percent after saying customers continued to buy Web ads even amid a slowing economy. D.R. Horton Inc. and Meritage Homes Corp. led a gauge of builders down on a Commerce Department report that construction of single-family homes plunged to the lowest level in a quarter century. The Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered from a decline of 261 points spurred by the housing data as the expiration of options spurred volatility amid the wildest month for market swings since 1929.

“I’ve been buying American stocks,” Buffett, the world’s second-richest person, wrote in a New York Times column. “A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. And most certainly, fear is now widespread.”

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The S&P 500 added 12.11 points, or 1.3 percent, to 958.54 at 2:46 p.m. in New York. The Dow rose 59.73, or 0.7 percent, to 9,038.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 43.94 to 1,761.65. More than three stocks advanced for every two that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.

The S&P 500 has climbed 6.6 percent this week, rebounding from its worst weekly loss in 75 years. The index is still down 33 percent in 2008 as losses and writedowns from mortgage- related investments at banks worldwide swelled to $660 billion. The Dow has added almost 7 percent this week.

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This article was posted: Friday, October 17, 2008 at 12:25 pm





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