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Thursday, January 5, 2012

WALL STREET : Auto Sales Help DJIA

Bluechips rises to highest level since July 2011
Auto Sales Trump Euro Worries
The major market indexes explored both sides of breakeven today, as Wall Street weighed concerns about Europe and Iran against relatively healthy auto sales. Right out of the gate, U.S. stocks dipped in the face of unconfirmed reports that Spain could request additional bailout funds, which sent Spanish bond yields soaring. Meanwhile, escalating tensions between Iran and the West also spooked a few buyers, but sent crude oil and gold futures into the black. However, reports of solid vehicle sales among U.S. automakers last month helped to tip the scales in the bulls' favor, though stocks' upward momentum remained relatively modest, thanks to jitters ahead of a round of end-of-week payrolls reports. Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) extended their 2012 climb, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) ended a choppy session just south of breakeven.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 12,418.42) elbowed its way to a gain of 21 points, or 0.2%, to end north of 12,400 for the first time since late July. All but 10 of the Dow's 30 components settled higher, with both Alcoa (AA) and Microsoft (MSFT) tacking on 2.4%. On the other hand, Verizon Communications (VZ) paced the bearish minority, giving up 1.3%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,277.30) eked out a gain of just 0.2 point, or 0.02%, after exploring a range of roughly 10 points. On the flip side, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,648.36) wasn't as fortunate as its peers, giving back 0.4 point, or 0.01%, by the time the dust settled.


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