NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The major market averages recaptured a portion of their prior day's losses Wednesday afternoon even as another ratings downgrade in the eurozone
kept sovereign debt worries in the headlines , though the Federal Open Market Committee made no move on its key interest rate. The Dow added 53 points, or 0.5%, to 11,045. The S&P 500 gained 8 points, or 0.7%, to 1191, though the Nasdaq went ahead by only a fraction of a point, or 0.01%, at 2472. Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) made news after the closing bell, announcing it will acquire Palm ( PALM) for $1.2 billion, according to a release. Palm shareholders will get $5.70 a share, or a 23% bump over Wednesday's closing price, while it's believed the deal will close during HP's third quarter. After a momentary halt in trading, shares of Palm were climbing 27% higher in the extended trading session. S&P lowered Spain's credit rating by one notch to AA, from AA+ with a negative outlook Wednesday, a day after downgrades to Greece and Portugal triggered a global selloff as investors feared a worsening eurozone debt crisis. Overseas, Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1.5%, and Japan's Nikkei fell 2.6%. The FTSE in London slipped 0.3%, and the DAX in Frankfurt lost 1.2%. Stocks faltered after news of the downgrade surfaced but stocks resumed higher with the Dow climbing solidly into positive territory, which Lawrence Creatura, vice president and portfolio manager at Federated Clover Investment Advisors, credited to a reporting season characterized by good earnings and even better outlooks. "Another thing that may be going on is capital may be departing Europe as anxiety over European contagion increases -- that could be another positive factor for markets," Creatura added. But Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer's Investment Research, was less enthused about the mild uptick in most stocks, noting the heavy 200-point Dow drop on Tuesday along with today's light trading volumes. "Yes, we shook off the Spain news, but I don't think it was the world's most impressive bounce," he said. "The Fed didn't rock the boat, so to speak, which is another positive. But the bigger picture for me: I don't think it's that impressive considering the steep drop we saw yesterday."
The EconomyThe Energy Information Administration said crude oil inventories added 1.9 million barrels in the week ended April 23, which was slightly higher than the 1.4 million barrel build that analysts polled by Platts had been expecting, but less than the increase of 5.34 million barrels reported by the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday. Gasoline stockpiles unexpectedly shed 1.9 million barrels, dashing analysts' projections for a gain of 500,000 barrels. Distillates supplies, however, showed another 2.9 million barrels, which was higher than the 1.2 million barrel rise expected by analysts. The Federal Reserve's rate-setting arm wrapped up its two-day meeting with the release of its
|Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke|
Company NewsVisa ( V), like other credit card firms before it this earnings season, beat profit estimates by a nickel after the closing bell at 96 cents a share on a better-than-expected jump in payment volume. Visa posted 71 cents a share in the year-earlier quarter. Solar panel maker First Solar ( FSLR) also
Commodities and the DollarFollowing the government inventory report, the June delivery crude oil contract settled at $83.22 a barrel, or 78 cents higher. Elsewhere in commodity markets, the June gold contract gained $9.60 to settle at $1,171.80 an ounce. The dollar was recently trading lower against a basket of currencies, with the