Stocks Rising Ahead Of Fed Announcement

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New York (AP) Stock prices are surging strongly on Wall Street.

The market mood today has been enhanced by better-than-expected earnings from Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs. The results from the investment firms were being closely watched in the wake of the Bear Stearns meltdown.

Shares of both companies have posted double-digit percentage gains.

Still to come, an announcement from the federal reserve on interest rates. Many investors are looking for an aggressive rate cut. The central bank has been employing a variety of means to revive stagnant credit markets, supporting the financial industry.

Before the opening bell, the labor department reported that the producer price index rose three-tenths of a percent. The core rate, excluding food and energy, surged half a percent.

Also, the commerce department says housing starts fell six-tenths of a percent last month. Building permits, a gauge of future activity, fell 7.8 percent.

Crude oil futures have rebounded today after falling sharply yesterday.