Despite disappointing earnings from a pair of Dow components, stocks snapped out of their recent slump to rack up a solid day of gains. Exxon Mobil and Procter & Gamble both bucked the Dow's bullish bias after unveiling their quarterly reports, but traders took heart in a healthy round of economic data. The Labor Department noted weekly declines in both initial and continuing jobless claims, while reports out of Europe suggested that an aid package for Greece will be ready to go "in the next days," according to Olli Rehn, the European Union's commissioner for monetary and economic affairs. Rehn described the bailout as "a multi-annual program that will lead to major fiscal and also structural adjustment."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 11,167.32) wrapped up the day with a robust gain of 122 points, or 1.1%, as all but three of its 30 components closed higher. Exxon Mobil and Procter & Gamble swallowed the steepest losses, while Hewlett-Packard declined after announcing its intention to acquire Palm. Financial firms American Express and Bank of America led the 27 advancing equities.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,206.78) tacked on 15.4 points, or 1.3%, and climbed back atop its own 10-day trendline. The SPX also ended above the 1,200 level for the first time since Monday. Finally, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,511.92) soared 40.2 points, or 1.6%, and settled on the north side of both its 10-day moving average and the 2,500 level.
Crude futures followed suit with the equities market today, moving solidly higher in the wake of well-received earnings and economic data. In particular, commodity traders were cheered by a weekly decline in unemployment claims, with hopes rising that a rebound in the jobs market will stoke increased fuel demand. Of course, Wednesday's unexpectedly bullish domestic inventories report certainly didn't hurt the upbeat mood in the oil patch. By the close, crude oil for June delivery was up $1.95, or 2.3%, to end at $85.17 per barrel.
Conversely, gold futures closed lower. The precious metal has recently capitalized on its status as a safe-haven alternative to stocks and currencies, but gold backpedaled as traders rediscovered their appetite for riskier assets. Gold for June delivery ended on a drop of $3, or 0.3%, at $1,168.80 per ounce.
HAPPY TRADING & GOODLUCK2ALL