Chapter 11 at GM sends US stocks up

US stocks rose yesterday, sending the S&amp;P 500 to its highest close in seven months, as reassuring economic data reinforced hopes that demand will stabilise, while <strong>General Motors</strong>&rsquo; long-expected bankruptcy filing ended uncertainty about the carmaker&rsquo;s fate.<br /><br />Data showing that the US manufacturing sector contracted in May at a slower rate than expected fuelled hopes the US recession that began in December 2007 is moderating.<br /><br />Investors were also encouraged by signs of manufacturing stabilisation from China, with demand from emerging markets for commodities and other resources seen leading a revival of global growth.<br /><br />&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a potential for green shoots,&rdquo; said Alan Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz, referring to signs of economic stabilisation.<br /><br />&ldquo;The best news has been the growth in China. Investors are betting on growth stimulus from the emerging markets,&rdquo; he added.<br /><br />The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 221.11 points, or 2.60 per cent, to 8,721.44. The Standard &amp; Poor&rsquo;s 500 Index gained 23.73 points, or 2.58 per cent, to 942.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 54.35 points, or 3.06 per cent, to 1,828.68.<br /><br />The broad-based advance extended the US stock market&rsquo;s recovery from the 12-year closing low of 9 March, with the benchmark S&amp;P 500 now up about 40 per cent since then.<br /><br />The S&amp;P 500&rsquo;s gain yesterday marked its highest close since last November, and the Dow climbed to its highest finish since January. The Nasdaq had its highest close since October 2008.<br /><br />The S&amp;P 500 hit another crucial milestone, ending above its 200-day moving average for the first time since December 2007, a feat that some analysts took as possibly a harbinger of additional gains ahead.<br /><br />In yesterday&rsquo;s rally, the standouts included shares of big manufacturers such as <strong>Boeing</strong>, which rose 6.4 per cent to $47.70, while <strong>United Technologies</strong> added 5.1 per cent to $55.27.<br /><br />Shares of energy companies also surged, with <strong>Chevron</strong> up almost 4 per cent at $69.21 as front-month US crude oil futures climbed $2.27 to settle at $68.58 a barrel