STOCKS NEWS US-Volcker: crisis may be worse than Depression

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U.S. stock market report [.N] 1436 ET 20Feb2009-Volcker: crisis may be worse than Depression ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Paul Volcker, a top advisor to President Barack Obama, on Friday said that the global economy may be deteriorating even faster than it did during the Great Depression.

“I don’t remember any time, maybe even in the Great Depression, when things went down quite so fast, quite so uniformly around the world,” he said. [ID:nN20271444]

Reuters Messaging: 1414 ET 20Feb2009-BofA pares losses after Bove comments on CNBC ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Shares of Bank of America BAC.N pared its losses on Friday, after banking analyst Richard Bove told CNBC that the company was the best buy in the history of the New York Stock Exchange.

Bank of America, a Dow component, fell 14 percent to $3.39, recovering from a session low of $2.53 that was reached earlier in the day.

Reuters Messaging: 1353 ET 20Feb2009-Obama promises strict oversight of stimulus ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday promised careful oversight of the recently-signed $787 billion economic stimulus package, saying he would call any instance of government waste to task.

“If a federal agency proposes a project that will waste that money, I will not hesitate to call them out on it, and put a stop to it,” he said. [ID:nN20266334]

Reuters Messaging: 1343 ET 20Feb2009-Court upholds lawsuit dismissal against Allstate ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit against Allstate Corp ALL.N and State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. The lawsuit accused the companies of overbilling the U.S. government for flood damage related to Hurricane Katrina.

The ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans revives the suit against other companies, including Fidelity National Insurance, Fidelity National Property and Casualty Insurance and Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance. [ID:nN19523001]

Reuters Messaging: 1326 ET 20Feb2009-Gold companies surge as gold surpasses $1,000/oz ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gold indexes and companies rallied on Friday, as the price of gold surged above $1,000 per ounce as investors sought refuge from the volatile stock market.

Gold slated for April delivery rose 2.9 percent to $1,004.40 per ounce, while the CBOE Gold Index .GOX added 4.7 percent to 158.24 and the S&P Gold Sub-Industry Index .GSPGOLD soared 9.7 percent to 105.33.

Among specific companies, Newmont Mining NEM.N rose 9.6 percent to $44.71, Agnico Eagle AEM.N gained 6.8 percent to $55.28 and Gold Fields GFI.N surged 5.8 percent to $11.63.

Reuters Messaging: