Wall Street has accomplished a feat that seemed impossible just a week ago, rallying and propelling the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index to their fourth straight winning sessions. Investors' growing confidence in the nation's financial system fed this latest advance.
The market reversed losses from earlier in the session Wednesday after President-elect Obama pledged he would have a plan to deal with the nation's economic crisis on his first day in office. After filling more spots to his economic team, Obama stated that "help is on the way."
Obama's remarks were calming after the day's economic reports, which pointed to more weakness. The government reported that unemployment at recessionary levels, new home sales at their lowest level in nearly 18 years, another plunge in consumer spending, and factory orders for big-ticket items down by the largest amount in two years.
The Dow finished up 247 points, or 2.91 percent, at the 8,726 level. The broader market indexes rose more than 3.5 percent.