Stocks continue to surge, with the Dow industrials up more than 300 points. Analysts credit new hopes for an interest rate cut following comments from the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Oil futures are sharply lower on anemic growth in demand and a jump in refinery activity. In late-session trading, light sweet crude for January delivery was down $3.44 on the New York Mercantile Exchange -- to $90.98 a barrel.
A new report by the Federal Reserve suggests the severe housing slump and painful credit crunch are making individuals and businesses alike more cautious. The Fed survey says, "reports on retail spending were downbeat in general," and that most retailers say they are expecting a slow holiday season.
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