Dow closes up 422 points on economic news


The /*Dow Jones*/ industrial average closed up 422 points, the S&P and Nasdaq closed up more than 4.6 percent.

The Dow has moved more than 400 points every day this week, including falling almost 520 points on Wednesday.

Speaking in Michigan, /*President Barack Obama*/ said Americans are right to be worried about market fluctuations, but blamed the problems on Washington.

"There is nothing wrong with our country," said Obama. "There is something wrong with our politics."

The unemployment report offered a little optimism. For the first time in four months, the number of Americans filing jobless claims fell below 400,000. It's the sixth straight week of fewer claims and a sign the job market might start turning around

A technology bellwether said revenue could grow faster this quarter than analysts expected. And as investors take money out of stocks, gold keeps rushing to new record highs. It's worth more than platinum at $1,800 an ounce.

Meanwhile, the Asian-pacific stock markets have opened higher, and Friday's trading has seen gains in Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

The real worries are in Europe. Futures Thursday flip-flopped as traders watched the ongoing turmoil in the Euro-zone.

There is concern the rating agencies could lower France's AAA-credit rating just one week after Standard & Poor's lowered the U.S. rating.

The big problem is the level of European debt and there are concerns that banks there are over exposed. European leaders from France and Germany have announced a meeting for Tuesday to address the ongoing debt concerns.

This news has many stock holders selling like its 2008.

"We do not see this as a depression scenario," said Lisa Detanna, senior vice president of Wedbush Securities.

However, some are standing firm and insisting this is not the time to panic.

"It's not at all like '08. This doesn't particularly change my personal spending," said Pasadena resident Dennis McNamara. "It might impact how long I keep working for my retirement, but that's all."

Experts say a lot of what is happening in the market is also being driven by emotions and that can end up hurting investors.

"In the long run, the fundamentals win, but foolish people who are too greedy when the market is high or too fearful when the market is low, they end up losing," said USC finance professor Larry Harris.

On Friday the government will release the July retail numbers. Economists are predicting a point-four percent increase in retail sales.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2023 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.