Sept. 6 - Summary of business headlines: Wall Street closes at 2008 high after ECB unveils bond buying plan and the U.S. labor market shows sign of improvement; Amazon refreshes Kindle and Kindle Fire line with several new devices. Conway G. Gittens reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Wall Street bulls shifted into high gear sending stocks to their highest close since January 2008. The Dow surged 244 points, the S&P 500 gained 28 and the Nasdaq 66. You can call it Mario's Magic Momentum. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi announced plans to buy government debt from troubled euro zone countries. This is the boldest move yet to stop Europe's debt crisis. Economic data out of the U.S. also supported the bull run. Private employers added the most jobs in five months in August and July's gains were upwardly revised, according to data compiled by payroll company ADP. While those numbers do not always correspond with the government's jobs figures, which are released on Friday, analysts say jobs are heading in the right direction, and that could have implications for the Federal Reserve. Michael Gapen is Sr. U.S. economist at Barclays Capital. SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL GAPEN, SENIOR U.S. ECONOMIST, BARCLAYS CAPITAL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "To be clear we think the data has improved enough and if the number does come in around 150,000 and we are also looking for the unemployment rate to tick lower to 8.2 percent. We think that would be enough to hold off on another round of asset purchase, or QE, at next week's meeting." Other numbers of the day: planned layoffs fell for a third straight month, hitting a 20-month low, according to consultants Challenger, Gray and Christmas. First-time jobless claims saw their first drop in a month, says the Labor Department. And growth in the services sector expanded in August, as per the Institute for Supply Management. In corporate news: Amazon lights a fire under its Kindle devices taking better aim at the Apple iPad. A high-end HD Kindle Fire tablet comes with just under a 9-inch screen and runs on a 4G network. A Wi-Fi version is $200 cheaper. Meanwhile, the classic Kindle book reader gets a re-fresh with better battery life and a sharper screen. Amazon's Jeff Bezos makes it clear he's willing to sacrifice profits from the device in order to make bigger sales when it comes to content. Investors like the strategy sending shares of Amazon to a record high. Back to Europe now - stocks in Germany and France rallied almost three percent. While stocks in the U.K. rallied about two percent. Conway Gittens, Reuters