Stocks start second quarter higher as home sales and manufacturing surprise


Stocks tanked early after dismal private-sector employment data pointed toward another bump up in unemployment when the government's official March figures are released. But thanks to better-than-expected readings for manufacturing and existing-home sales, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 153 points, or 2 percent, to 7,762.

All but three of the Dow's 30 components rose, including financial shares, the market awaited a decision from regulators on whether to relax rules governing how banks account for toxic assets. General Motors (GM) was the DJIA's biggest loser after reporting March auto sales fell 45 percent.