Dow ends day up 204 points on rally started by JPMorgan

JPMorgan Chase blew away a cloud of concern hanging over the banking industry Friday and set off a rally in stocks. Relieved investors drove up bank stocks, ended a six-day losing streak for the market and sent the Dow Jones industrial average up 204 points, the best day this month.

JPMorgan jumped 6 percent, the biggest gain in the Dow by far.

The Dow gained 203.82 points to close at 12,777.09.

Wells Fargo, the other major bank reporting results Friday, said a strong pickup in lending lifted its net income 18 percent. Wells Fargo has managed to avoid problems plaguing other big banks and is now the country’s largest mortgage lender. The bank’s stock gained 3 percent, or $1.06, to $33.91.

In other trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 22.02 points to 1,356.78 and the Nasdaq composite gained 42.28 points to 2,908.47.

Judge approves Tribune Co. plan to exit from bankruptcy

Tribune Co. has won court approval to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, more than four years after a leveraged buyout left the media company with unsustainable debt.

A federal bankruptcy judge in Delaware said Friday that he would approve the plan, which leaves Tribune in the hands of a new ownership group led by two hedge funds and JPMorgan Chase.

Tribune publishes several major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun and the Chicago Tribune. It also operates 23 television stations.

The company sought bankruptcy protection in 2008, less than a year after billionaire developer Sam Zell led a buyout that left it with $13 billion in debt.

The company must now seek federal permission to transfer its broadcast licenses to its new owners.

Minnesota gay marriage ban will hurt business, firm says

The legal, business information and media company Thomson Reuters said Friday that an amendment to ban gay marriage in Minnesota would be bad for business.

Prominent companies including General Mills and St. Jude Medical spoke out earlier against the proposed amendment, which goes to the voters in November. Minnesota already has a law against gay marriage, but gay marriage opponents say the amendment is necessary to put the ban in the state constitution.

In a statement, Thomson Reuters said it doesn’t believe the amendment “would be good for Thomson Reuters or the business community in the state.”

Spokesman John Shaughnessy said Thomson Reuters, headquartered in New York City, has almost 8,000 employees in Minnesota, most based in the Minneapolis suburb of Eagan, and 60,000 around the world.

“We believe the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, if passed, would limit our ability to recruit and retain top talent,” several Minnesota-based company executives wrote in an email to employees.

The company, which includes the Reuters news agency, tried to clarify why it was weighing in on the issue, saying its statement was not a political or religious position. “Rather, our perspective on the Amendment is a business position,” the email said.

— From news service reports