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Thursday, 29 September 2011 | 21:00

DJ30 PointChange: +143.08 Level: 11153.98 NASDAQ PointChange: -10.82 Level: 2480.76 NQ100 PercentChange: -1.0 R2K PercentChange: +1.7 SP400 PercentChange: +1.0 SP500 PointChange: +9.34 Level: 1160.4 NASDAQ-Adv:1580 Dec: 957 NYSE-Adv:2164 Dec: 855

[BRIEFING.COM] The major equity averages were up with big gains before broad selling pressure cut down stocks in afternoon action. A late bounce made for a better looking finish, though.

Stocks ended the prior session in weak fashion, but buyers came rushing back in this morning. Their interest was stirred by news that Germany gave its support to the expansion of the European Financial Stability Facility, which is aimed at shaping up the otherwise precarious financial conditions of the region.

For the first time in a few weeks data also proved encouraging. The latest weekly initial jobless claims count dropped by 37,000 from the prior week to 391,000, which is the first time in more than a month that initial claims fell below 400,000. The consensus among economists polled by had been pegged at 419,000 initial claims.

What's more, the final reading for second quarter GDP showed growth of 1.3%, which not only marks an increase from the 1.0% growth rate posted in the prior reading, but it also exceeds the 1.2% growth that had been broadly expected.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 pushed ahead to gains in excess of 2% in the early going. Financials led the advance, but tech stocks had a harder time attracting buyers.

Tech's sluggishness eventually gave way to outright weakness, which weighed heavily on the Nasdaq. In fact, the Nasdaq descended all the way to a 2.3% loss after it had been up with a gain of almost 2% in the opening minutes of the session. A bounce in the final hour helped the tech-rich Index recover, however.

Several Chinese stocks also sold off in aggressive fashion, but never really rebounded. (YOKU 16.24, -3.64), SINA Corp (SINA 73.23, -7.87), and (BIDU 110.29, -11.13) all tumbled amid reports that suggested authorities are investigating accounting irregularities at many US-listed Chinese companies. Also in the backdrop, China's stock market underperformed other global averages in overnight action by falling 1% to a new 15-month low.

Tomorrow marks the final session of the week and of the third quarter. The S&P 500, up 2% during the course of the past four sessions, is trying to score its third weekly gain in 10 weeks, but such a lengthy stretch of losses has the market down 12% this quarter. That's the worst quarterly performance since the fourth quarter of 2008.

Advancing Sectors: Financials +2.8%, Utilities +1.5%, Energy +1.4%, Industrials +1.4%, Consumer Staples +1.0%, Health Care +0.8%, Telecom +0.8%
Unchanged: Materials
Declining Sectors: Tech -0.4%, Consumer Discretionary -0.9%

Source: Briefing

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