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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wall St. >>> Bulls Reclaim 123 Points in Eleventh-Hour Rally

Dow Snap Late Selldown Streak;
Nasdaq Still In The Doldrum
Wall Street jumped off the mats at the last minute on Tuesday as the Dow jumped more than 120 points and the Nasdaq Composite slashed heavy losses amid a rush of late-day bargain-hunting in beaten-down commodity and financial stocks.
Stocks attempted to break their losing streak today, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke did his part to aid the bullish case. In an interview last night, Bernanke told ABC's Sam Donaldson that he doesn't expect a double-dip recession. "So far the news is pretty good," said the Fed chief. "My best guess is that we'll have a continued recovery [but] it won't feel terrific."
However, the bulls didn't come out of hiding until the final half-hour of the session, which saw the Dow rocket to a triple-digit gain.
"It was a strange day indeed," admitted a senior market strategist. "The headlines will read the Dow gained more than 100 points, but the Nasdaq and small caps still finished in the red. Nonetheless, we broke a nasty string of late day sell-offs, and the S&P 500 Index continued to find buyers near its February lows."

After vacillating between positive and negative territory throughout the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 9,939.98) marched boldly higher in the final minutes of trading, tallying a final gain of 123.49 points, or 1.3%. Twenty-six of the 30 blue chips ended higher, led by DuPont and Bank of America. Meanwhile, tech titans Microsoft and Intel paced the four decliners.

However, the Dow couldn't climb high enough today to challenge the looming 10,000 region, nor its descending 10-day moving average.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,062.00) tacked on 11.5 points, or 1.1%, joining the Dow with an eleventh-hour surge. The SPX found support today at the 1,040 level, the site of its late-May low. Finally, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,170.57) bucked the trend by settling lower, although it pared its losses significantly in afternoon trading. The COMP trimmed its daily drop to just 3.3 points, or 0.2%.

Crude futures caught a lift today, buoyed by a rebound in the beaten-down euro. Despite a general lack of enthusiasm for higher-risk assets, black gold notched a modest gain as the U.S. dollar backpedaled against its struggling rival. Additionally, traders positioned themselves ahead of tomorrow's regularly scheduled report on petroleum supplies, which is expected to reveal a second consecutive weekly decline in crude inventories. By the close, crude oil for July delivery added 55 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $71.99 per barrel.

Gold futures, meanwhile, enjoyed an unequivocally positive session amid a flood of safe-haven buying. In fact, the front-month contract cruised to an all-time peak of $1,254.50 per ounce, as traders considered a warning from Fitch about Britain's precarious sovereign debt load. The malleable metal finished with a healthy gain of $4.80, or 0.4%, at $1,245.60 per ounce -- its highest settlement on record.

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