It seems that Sept 11, 2008 was not so bad a day for shares, after all. U.S. stocks rose on Thursday as a report that major U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers is shopping itself to possible owners, including Bank of America, drove a last-minute increase in financial shares.
A nearly $2 retreat in the price of oil also boosted the market, easing concern about consumer and business spending and sending airline and retail shares higher.
General Motors was another standout, with shares rising more than 11 percent on hopes that Washington may provide a financial lifeline for U.S. automakers. Ford jumped nearly 5 percent a share to $4.68.
Financial shares rallied after The Wall Street Journal reported that Lehman Brothers ( was courting suitors, including Bank of America.