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Article posted Dec 01 2011, 6:30 AM Category: Economy Source: Bloomberg Print

400 Dow Points Aren't What They Used To Be

By Whitney Kisling and Inyoung Hwang

What does today’s stock rally equal in past markets? About half as much.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) reached 12,045.68, up 490.05 points from yesterday’s close. Adjusting for the market’s volatility in 2011, the gain is equal to about 240 points in the first nine years of the last decade, Bloomberg data show.

Europe’s sovereign debt crisis has fueled some of the biggest stock swings ever during the last four months. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has moved 1.7 percent on average each day, compared with 0.8 percent before September 2008, when Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“It feels like a good day, but whether or not it’s sustainable is another thing,” Hayes Miller, who helps oversee about $43 billion as the Boston-based head of asset allocation in North America at Baring Asset Management Inc., said in a telephone interview. “We’re not buying it. This rally isn’t going to shake us from being more cautious on risk assets for the first half of 2012.”

The Dow surged 4.2 percent, the most since March 2009, after central banks acted to make additional funds available to lenders. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Bank of America Corp. advanced at least 7.3 percent today as the Federal Reserve and five central banks lowered interest rates on dollar swaps and China cut banks’ reserve requirements.

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