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Saturday, September 8, 2012

More Multi-Year Highs for the Dow, SPX as Summertime Rally Continues

08 Sept 2012 Wall Street end the shortened week on a bullish note
U.S. stocks clung to the flatline and stayed near multiyear highs Friday as disappointment over the August jobs report was countered by hopes the gloomy data could give the Federal Reserve further reason to unleash a third round of quantitative easing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) drifted below breakeven before lunchtime, but battled its way back into the black in the last minutes of trading. With that, the blue-chip barometer secured a respectable return  of 1.65% for the week.

The markets will be laser focused on the Federal Reserve next week, anxiously awaiting word on whether the central bank will initiate another round of economic stimulus.
The Federal Open Markets Committee, which sets most Fed policy, is meeting Wednesday and Thursday and a statement is due at the end of the second day. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Stock markets are all hoping for another round of quantitative easing, in which the Fed buys      U.S. securities in an effort to goose the stumbling U.S. economy. Friday’s dismal labor report which revealed that just 96,000 jobs were created in August only boosted hopes among investors for QE III.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI – 13,306.64) was rather flat all session long, but found itself up 14.6 points, or 0.1%, by the closing bell. The Dow posted its best daily settlement since December 2007. Half of the 30 components slipped into negative territory, with Kraft Foods Inc's (NASDAQ:KFT) 5.5% loss pacing the laggards. On the other hand, the 15 outperformers were led higher by Bank of America's (NYSE:BAC) 5.4% gain. During the holiday-shortened week, the Dow enjoyed a 1.65% rise.
Adding 5.8 points, or 0.4%, the S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,437.92) prolonged its stay in the black today and closed at a fresh four-year high. Plus, the SPX marked its best daily close since January 2008. For the week, the broad-market index climbed 2.2%.
The Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 3,136.42) enjoyed another multi-year high run, touching 3,139.61 in intraday action -- its loftiest price since mid-November 2000. And after the dust cleared, the tech-rich barometer eked out a fractional win. The COMP turned in the best weekly performance of its peers, rallying 2.3%.

For every stock sliding in New York Friday, more than two gained on the New York StockExchange, where nearly 680 million shares had traded. Composite volume reached 3.7 billion.

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