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Thursday, April 29, 2010
The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted strong gains today, driven by good earnings reports and data showing improving manufacturing conditions in the Midwest. The measure's top performer was American Express, up 3.3% for the day. Concerns over euro-zone debt eased on reports that German leaders were moving closer to fast-tracking an $11 billion package of German aid for Greece. That news pushed the euro higher against the dollar. DJIA +122.05 Nasdaq +40.19 S&P 500 +15.42.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
A downgrade of Greece's credit rating to "junk" status sent stocks to their worst one-day loss in more than two months, causing the Dow Jones Industrial Average to fall below 11,000. The euro dropped against the dollar, weighing on the prices of oil and other commodities. That then hit the shares of raw-materials producers, worsening the declines in major stock indexes. Bank stocks were under pressure as a Senate committee grilled Goldman Sachs Group executives about their company's role in the recent financial crisis. The financial sector as a whole struggled today due to many traders pondering the potential implications for proposals to tighten regulation of Wall Street. In other markets, the U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of six currencies, shot up .6% today. DJIA -213.04 Nasdaq -51.48 S&P 500 -28.34.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Thanks to a strong profit report from Caterpillar, the Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to end just above the break-even point today. The financial sector took a tumble due to investors shying from big-name banks ahead of a Senate vote (expected this evening) on reforms that could require Wall Street firms to spin off their derivatives-trading desks if they want to receive federal assistance in future crises. Concerns over how aid will be structured to help Greece climb out of its budget deficit stirred up that country's financial markets, pushing the cost of insuring Greek debt against default to new records. The dollar strengthened against the euro but slipped versus the yen. DJIA +.75 Nasdaq -7.20 S&P 500 -5.23.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Energy stocks led a steady market rally, spurred by a rally in oil prices and an upbeat outlook from Schlumberger. Investors grew more optimistic about the U.S. economy following a Commerce Department report showing that sales of new homes in the U.S. posted thier largest year-over-year increase in nearly five years. Worries about Greece's finances kept a lid on the market's gains but didn't derail the generally optimistic mood that pervaded the market all week. Traders remained focused on the first-quarter earnings on Wall Street, which has provided far more pleasant surprises than bad. DJIA +69.99 Nasdaq +11.08 S&P 500 +8.61.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
A strong reading of home sales and a sigh of relief from traders following the president's speech on financial reform led to a comeback in the stock market today. Major indexes traded sharply lower in the morning, hurt by Moody's credit downgrade of heavily indebted Greece. But that gave way to a rally beginning around midday as traders turned their attention elsewhere. Also, Apple edged out Microsoft today for the #2 spot in the S&P 500. In other markets, the euro dropped to its weakest point since May 2009 due to its credit rating downgrade. DJIA +9.37 Nasdaq +14.46 S&P 500 +2.73.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its first triple-digit point gain in three weeks. Also, the Standard & Poor's 500 broke through a key round-number milestone thanks to the latest round of corporate earnings reports, which offered positive signals about the broader economy. Another good report came in retail sales, which rose 1.6% last month, the biggest gain in four months and above the 1.3% increase economists expected. Other economic reports showed a modest climb in consumer prices and an increase in business inventories. In its beige book of regional economic indicators, the Federal Reserve was upbeat about consumer spending, which represents more than two-thirds of gross domestic product in the U.S. In other markets, the dollar weakened against both the euro and the yen. DJIA +103.69 Nasdaq +38.87 S&P 500 +13.35.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
A continuing retreat in energy prices boosted consumer stocks, helping the market to a small gain to keep the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 11,000. The average's gains were tempered, however, by a 1.6% drop in Alcoa on the heels of its results late Monday, which marked the unofficial start of the broader first-quarter earnings season. Today's trading highlighted investors' increasing focus on how gasoline prices might affect spending on other goods heading into summer, when many Americans take off on car trips. At the same time, participants are hoping to see a continued U.S. economic rebound fueled at least in part by consumer spending. In other markets, the dollar strengthened against the euro but weakened against the yen. DJIA +13.45 Nasdaq +8.12 S&P 500 +.82.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Today marks a much-anticipated milestone for the stock market since its crash in August of 2008. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finally closed above 11,000 for the first time in almost two years. Optimism about the earnings season has been simmering for weeks, fueling major averages to new 18-month highs. At the same time, however, they've often seemed to struggle around milestones, with some traders taking short-term profits ahead of breakthroughs to new levels. In other markets, the dollar rose against the yen, but fell against the euro, which strengthened following Sunday's news that euro-zone nations are willing to lend Greece approximately $40 billion. DJIA +8.62 Nasdaq +3.82 S&P 500 +2.11.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Stocks suffered their worst daily loss in more than a month, sunk by a dismal reading of consumer borrowing and discouraging comments from Federal Reserve officials, who warned of both weak growth and a potential uptick in interest rates. The Fed released data showing that consumer borrowing fell $11.5 billion in February, a much bigger decline than Wall Street was expecting. Such a slide suggests that consumers' pocketbooks are suffering more than thought from high unemployment and the lingering effects of the bursting of the real-estate bubble. That bodes ill for the broader U.S. economy, more than two-thirds of which is tied to consumer spending. The dollar strengthened against the euro due to continued worry over Greece's ability to finance its debt. DJIA -72.47 Nasdaq -5.65 S&P 500 -6.99.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
The Dow Jones Industrial Average floundered in its latest attempt to reach 11,000 as a burst of afternoon buying spurred by comforting words from the Federal Reserve ran out. Other indexes managed slim gains, tempered by renewed worries about Greece's finances and anxiety preceding the upcoming earnings season. The market traded in a narrow range, enjoying its strongest run following the release at 2 p.m. Eastern of the minutes of Federal Reserve's March policy meeting. Officials were a bit more confident about the U.S. economy's recovery at their latest meeting, but they remained reluctant to raise short-term interest rates too soon. The U.S. Dollar Index gained .3%, though the dollar slipped against the yen. DJIA -3.56 Nasdaq +7.28 S&P 500 +2.00.