Stocks Up, Dollar Down

The news that Barclays doubled its profit in 2009, combined with an improving U.S. manufacturing sector, spurred stocks and commodities to rise around the world. The value of the dollar dropped against 14 of 16 major currencies, falling 0.9 percent on the Dollar Index. The S&P 500 gained the most in three months, 1.8 percent, as did MSCI World Index, its largest rise in six weeks. Oil climbed the most in four months, and copper hit a three-week high. The good showing from Barclays adds to the evidence that the federal bailout managed to stabilize the financial sector; the economic index of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that the manufacturing sector grew the fastest in four months. That trumped news about Greece’s budget woes. "Manufacturing is increasing globally and there will be demand for raw materials, even in the U.S. we're seeing an increase in manufacturing," a money manager said. "People are positioning themselves to take advantage that."