Wall Street's Super Bowl Rally

Optimistic investors set off a record-challenging buying spree

A bitter cold snap set record lows across much of the U.S. last week, but on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange torrid trading advanced market indicators toward new highs. On Monday the Dow Jones industrial average jumped 34.01 points, the eighth strongest gain ever. Next day nearly 175 million shares changed hands on the Big Board; it was the busiest activity since October and the fourth heaviest trading day of all time. Analysts attributed the brisk activity to a surge of optimism about the economy. Said Larry Wachtel, first vice president of Prudential-Bache Securities: "There's a new mood...

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