Monday, March 23, 2009

In a Switch, Citigroup Lifts Stocks

Posted by Nicholas Hall

Hopes that maybe, just maybe, the nation’s beleaguered banks are on the mend swept Wall Street on Tuesday, unleashing a breathtaking stock market rally that left investors a bit giddy but had many experts warning that this rally, like so many before it, could falter as fast as it began.

After months of disheartening losses, investors finally got a taste of what they desperately craved — a glimmer of good news in the financial industry — from none other than Citigroup, the biggest and most troubled of the nation’s troubled big banks.

In a memorandum sent to Citigroup employees on Monday night, Vikram S. Pandit, Citigroup’s beleaguered chief executive, said that after more than a year of staggering losses and three rescues from Washington, the giant financial company was once again making money. Citigroup, he said, was on track for its strongest quarter since late 2007, when waves of bad loans and trading losses began to crash down on the company.

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