By Larry McShane
Daily News Staff Writer
Optimism over the proposed federal bailout package helped the Dow Jones industrial average jump more than 200 points Thursday morning.
The early trading surge came hours before President Bush is to meet with both presidential candidates and Congressional leaders.
Investors hope approval of the $700 billion bailout, one of the costliest since the Great Depression, will help stabilize the economy.
Earlier this week, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke urged federal lawmakers on to quickly approve the plan.
Bush, in a speech to the nation last night, stressed the urgency of the proposal. And GOP presidential nominee John McCain said today that a deal needs to be in place before Monday's opening Wall Street bell.
"It is difficult to act both quickly and wisely, but that is what's required of us now," McCain said at the Clinton Global Initiative. "Time is short, and doing nothing is not an option."
White House officials have agreed to a key demand by congressional leaders regarding the bailout. They wanted limits on pay packages for executives whose companies benefit from the rescue plan.