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Tuesday, 14 February 2012 | 00:00
DJ30 PointChange: +72.81 Level: 12874.04 NASDAQ PointChange: +27.51 Level: 2931.39 SP500 PointChange: +9.13 Level: 1351.77 NASDAQ-Adv:1864 Dec: 692 NYSE-Adv:2370 Dec: 719

[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks started the day higher on encouraging news about agreement from Greece on proposed austerity measures. The early bid waned off the open, but buyers stepped back in around mid-morning and stocks closed right around the levels where they opened, with the S&P 500 adding 0.7%.

After weeks of haggling over austerity plan details, many market participants were concerned that Greece's parliament would drag its feet in passing new measures, but, over the weekend, the country approved the plan, bringing it closer to securing additional bailout funds. That said, eurozone officials still have to approve Greece's plan. There are also challenges associated with implementing any new measures.

The news inspired buying abroad, resulting in varied gains for the world's major equity averages. Domestic averages have followed suit, but they have wavered since the start of the session. Nonetheless, improved sentiment in the wake of the Greece headline has helped take the Dow Jones Global Index up to a 0.7% gain.

Industrial stocks were the strongest today, with the sector gaining 1.2%. Financials, which are considered to be most sensitive to the European crisis, were the second strongest sector, finishing the day +0.9%.

Tech stocks, which make up the largest sector by market weight, were a laggard, gaining 0.6% on the day.

Despite the relatively unimpressive performance of tech stocks, the tech-rich Nasdaq actually maintained a narrow lead over its counterparts today. Apple (AAPL 502.60, +9.18) was a leader in the Nasdaq as it made a push past the psychologically significant $500 level earlier.

Late in the session, a technical glitch halted crude oil trading on the CME. After the halt, crude resumed trading higher and is now around $100.57. Crude ended 1.8% higher at $100.40/barrel in floor trading. Feb natural gas remained in the red all session. The energy component attempted to erase all of its losses in early morning activity, but couldn't hold and closed 2% lower at $2.43/MMBtu.

There haven't been any other stories of great importance today -- earnings reports are sparse and without broad consequence and there hasn't been a single economic announcement. That has likely further depressed participation today, resulting in trading volume that was well below average.

Source: Briefing

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