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Wednesday, 11 January 2012 | 00:00
DJ30 PointChange: +69.78 Level: 12462.47 NASDAQ PointChange: +25.94 Level: 2702.5 NQ100 PercentChange: +0.7 R2K PercentChange: +1.4 SP400 PercentChange: +1.3 SP500 PointChange: +11.38 Level: 1292.08 NASDAQ-Adv:1847 Dec: 707 NYSE-Adv:2323 Dec: 690 [BRIEFING.COM] The broad market ran up to a multi-month high in the early going, but spent the rest of the session drifting along. Although the stock market settled shy of its session high, it still booked its best gain in a week.

Buying interest was largely based on the robust gains staged by many of the major averages abroad, including those in both Europe and Asia. Overseas gains came amid word that analysts at Fitch believe France and Germany will maintain their top-notch credit ratings in 2012, while many in Asia are hoping that China will ease monetary policy after leaders commented last week about the difficulty facing the country's economy.

Banks were among the best performers abroad. That helped fire up shares of domestic financial issues, resulting in a 2.0% gain for the sector. With a 1.8% gain, materials stocks were close behind, but nearly every other sector settled with a gain of less than 1%. Defensive-oriented issues gained the least.

Market participants were treated to the unofficial start of earnings season, which got going when Alcoa (AA 9.44, +0.01) announced quarterly results after the prior session's close. The company's strong top line results initially overshadowed its earnings miss, but enthusiasm eventually subsided so that the stock surrendered all but a penny of its gain. Only a handful of other earnings reports were released; none of them was of any real interest to the broad market.

Data was limited to an inconsequential wholesale inventory report for November. It showed a 0.1% increase when an increase of 0.5% had been generally expected.

Unfortunately for participants reliant upon trading catalysts, the flow of data doesn't pick up until later in the week and earnings season really doesn't get going in earnest until next week. Participation, or share volume, presumably won't pick up until then; as a consequence of the absence of catalysts far less than 1 billion shares traded hands on the NYSE today.

Advancing Sectors: Financial +2.0%, Materials +1.8%, Industrials +1.4%, Health Care +0.9%, Energy +0.7%, Consumer Discretionary +0.6%, Tech +0.5%, Telecom +0.4%, Consumer Staples +0.4%, Utilities +0.1%
Declining Sectors: (None)

Source: Briefing

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