BANGKOK - Stocks rose sharply on Wall Street Tuesday as traders turned their focus back to corporate news from the United States and hopes that the Federal Reserve will come up with a plan to jump-start the economy. Banks and materials stocks led the market higher.
The Dow Jones industrial average soared 95.51 points to 12,837.33, its highest close in a month. Microsoft, one of the biggest gainers in the Dow, jumped 3 percent to $30.70 after it announced a new tablet computer called Surface to compete with the immensely popular iPad from Apple.
Stock traders also latched on to recent signals from the Federal Reserve that it may reveal plans to stimulate the economy at the end of its two-day meeting Wednesday. A good portion of the strong market action Tuesday was from "a hope factor that we're going to get more easing from the Fed," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.
Economists say that even if the Fed does not act after its meeting, it will send a clear message that it is standing by to do so if needed.
In other trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.98 percent to 1,357.98. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 1.19 percent to 2,929.76. -- AP