WALL STREET: New Money Again

Besides hammering share prices down, the recession almost destroyed the original and highly essential function of the stock market: that of enabling companies to raise capital. As the Dow Jones industrial average tumbled to a twelve-year low of 578 last December, investors' confidence was so shaken that hardly any companies could hope to raise money by selling newly issued stock. Now, with the Dow back to 855 (up 31 last week) and investor enthusiasm rising, American companies in search of funds are once more finding a market for new shares.

Indeed, in this year's first four months, companies raised $2.3...

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