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Cool Hand Ben Stimulates Bulls: Dave's Daily

Bernanke & Co had nothing new to say and one assumes this must be bullish as stocks shot higher after the announcement. Gold fell as it was "risk on" for stocks and as the dollar rose slightly. Select commodity prices rose (USO, JJC) while bond prices continued to fall as yields rose.

Retail Sales were higher but below expectations (1.1% vs 1.2% exp. & prior .6%) ex autos and gasoline sales were up only .6%. Goldman Sachs same store sales data for the week was .7% vs 1.3% prior. Economic data wasn't that impressive overall but perhaps that's just the way bulls like it.

Stocks were led higher by just about all sectors therefore cherry-picking one is difficult. Nevertheless it's good to see financials (JPM, KBE and XLF) back in the mix given recent weakness. Bank stocks rallied on the news that JPM would raise its dividend meaning the bank passed the stress tests the Fed was administering. Bank stress test news wasn't scheduled to be released until Thursday after the market close. (Yeah, I know these are just another manipulated set of data hiding the junk from the good stuff.) Anyway, perhaps this is why banks have been the largest buyers of Treasury debt since it would help them pass.

The afternoon stock rally squeezed whatever shorts were left as indices and sectors like the NASDAQ made an 11-year high surpassing 3K.  

Most important, volume finally returned to markets on an up-day. It isn't the high volume we've seen in the past, but at least it's better than what we've seen since the fall of 2011. Breadth per the WSJ was quite positive and may have been a 90/10 day.

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