Rally On

By George Chamberlin
|  Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009  |  Updated 3:45 PM PDT
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Rally On

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Stock prices rose again on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve announced a major purchase of U.S. Treasury securities in an effort to push interest rates lower.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 90.88 points to 7486.58. The Nasdaq composite index added 29.11 points to 1491.22 and the S&P 500 stock index was up 16.23 points to 794.35.

Among local stocks: Leap Wireless gained $1.66 to $36.80; Jack in the Box was up $1.41 to $22.61; and, Sempra Energy was up $1.08 to $43.25.

Stocks have advanced in six of the past seven sessions. All three major indexes are approaching critical resistance levels that could be a challenge.

The Labor Department reported that consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in February as a result of higher gasoline prices. The number was slightly higher than had been expected.

Oil declined after the Fed announcement in reaction to the plan to keep inflation under control. Crude dropped $1.02 to $48.14 a barrel.

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