So, maybe we can still have that 10th anniversary party for the bull market after all?
The market -- in the form of tech and financial stocks -- came bounding back in a determined effort to recover some of the past week's incredible losses.
The past two days have been record-making days for both the
Nasdaq Composite Index and the
Dow Jones Industrial Average. Today, the Comp celebrated its third-largest point increase, which was in sharp contrast to the record the Dow set yesterday, of its fifth-largest point drop by falling 379.21 points.
Thursday's trading session was shellacked by violence in the Middle East as well as more earnings warnings, and while violence has yet to cease today, some good news mixed in with what should have been bad news came out to push aside the troubles happening between Israel and Palestine.
The potentially bad news came out this morning in the form of the September
Producer Price Index
, which showed that soaring energy prices sharply raised U.S. wholesale prices in September. Also, September
gave evidence that sales in the U.S. jumped to the sharpest rate in seven months, boosted by car and truck sales and soaring gasoline prices.
What made that news easier to swallow was an easing in oil prices after a report that Saudi Arabia was not planning an oil embargo against the United States. Other contributions to investor optimism were some good earnings announcements after yesterday's closing bell and some positive comments about the
S&P 500 index.
The Nasdaq could thank good solid earnings from PC-maker
as well as from Internet infrastructure company
and networking chipmaker
for its bounce.
Gateway was one of investors' favorites; the stock climbed 21.7%. It helped lift the
Philadelphia Computer Box Maker Index
10.2% and pushed up Dow components
. Those components added more than 100 points to the index.
Also on the Dow,
regained some of its losses today after its shares fell 29% yesterday on news that it would miss estimates for its third and fourth quarters. It was the most active stock on the Big Board.
Financials also came back today, with blue-chips
ending the day in positive territory. J.P. Morgan was the Dow's biggest single contributor, with 42 positive points. American Express and Citigroup added a total of almost 32 points.
The aforementioned positive comments on the S&P 500 came from the ever-bullish
Abby Joseph Cohen
. This morning, she said the index is undervalued by about 15% and reiterated her year-end S&P target of 1575. The index ended the day 3.3% higher at 1374.10.
And while the regular trading session finished the day in celebratory mood, not everyone was ready to put on their party hats.
Alan Ackerman, market strategist at
, said there's still a tug-of-war between those who think we've hit the bottom and those who think it is still to come.
And company news isn't giving any indication as to who is right. "Overall, stocks have acted so badly that many companies could be arrested for disorderly conduct," Ackerman said.
As far as what to look forward to next week, Ackerman said a lot depends on what happens in the Middle East over the weekend. Monday and Tuesday will be key next week, but the rally could stand if the tensions ease there. Still, he said, "We don't have the major signs that we've been through a reversal."
Breadth was positive on heavy volume.
New York Stock Exchange: 1,619 advancers, 1,254 decliners, 1.23 billion shares. 23 new 52-week highs, 157 new lows.
Nasdaq Stock Market: 2,711 advancers, 1,335 decliners, 2.036 billion shares. 24 new highs, 340 new lows.
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Most Active Stocks
NYSE Most Actives
- Home Depot: 43.7 million shares.
Lucent (LU) : 29.3 million shares.
Motorola (MOT) : 38 million shares.
Nasdaq Most Actives
- Intel (INTC) - Get Report: 78.7 million shares.
Cisco (CSCO) - Get Report: 72.8 million shares.
Dell (DELL) - Get Report: 58.6 million shares.
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Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
, the oft-called SOX, jumped about 10% in conjunction with
good earnings news. Those SOX components making the biggest percentage gains included
, up 15.6%;
, 17.1% higher; and
, up 12.7%.
Investors took their money out of gold and oil. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Gold and Silver Index
was down 4%. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index
fell 3.7% and the
American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index
dropped about 3.5%.
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Bond prices turned lower following hotter-than-expected reports on both consumer spending and wholesale prices.
Retail sales increased 0.9% in September, the largest gain since February, and 0.7% excluding autos. Economists polled by
had forecast gains of 0.6% overall and 0.5% excluding autos. The data suggest that consumer spending, the primary driver of economic growth, continues to run at a very strong pace.
Producer Price Index also rose 0.9% in September, the largest gain since February. Oil prices, which rose 3.7%, were largely responsible. The core PPI, which excludes food and energy prices, gained 0.3%. But that gain too was larger than expected. On average, economists had forecast the PPI to rise 0.5% overall and 0.1% excluding food and energy. The report fans fears that rising oil prices are leading to a faster rate of inflation overall.
The benchmark 10-year
Treasury note lately was down 6/32 to 100 4/32, lifting its yield to 5.732%.
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European stocks rose sharply in late trading, following the strength in the U.S. market.
finished up 77.70 to 6209.60.
in Paris ended 73.57 higher to 6064.21, while the
in Frankfurt was up 196.04 to 6661.30.
The euro was falling again after seeing some mild strength in recent days, lately at 0.8542.
Asian equity markets ended Friday lower, as investors lost their nerve after Wall Street stumbled Thursday and tensions rose in the Middle East. Most indices managed to close off of their intraday lows, however.
closed down 220.3, or 1.4%, at 15,330.3, which reflected a bounce back after hitting a 19-month low at one point during the session.
In Tokyo trading, The dollar was little changed at 107.59. The greenback was lately trading at 107.82 yen.
Elsewhere, South Korea's stock market dropped more than 5% early on, before trimming those losses near the close. The
index ended down 10.1, or 2%, at 524.6. Hong Kong's
index fell 394.3, or 2.6%, to 14,680.5.
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