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Thursday, 06 October 2011 | 21:08

DJ30 PointChange: +183.38 Level: 11123.33 NASDAQ PointChange: +46.31 Level: 2506.82 NQ100 PercentChange: +1.6 R2K PercentChange: +2.4 SP400 PercentChange: +2.5 SP500 PointChange: +20.93 Level: 1164.97 NASDAQ-Adv:1934 Dec: 596 NYSE-Adv:2592 Dec: 461

[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks overcame intraday resistance to settle at session highs for another big gain. The stock market has now scored three strong gains in just as many days.

Financials fueled today's rally, but only after the sector overcame early selling pressure. Following a relatively lackluster performance in the prior session, financials faltered this morning, falling to a loss well in excess of 1%. But bank stocks brought the sector back from the red. Bank of America (BAC 6.28, +0.51), one of the most actively traded names by share volume, rallied nearly 9% to its weekly high. It drove the KBW Bank Index to a 4.5% gain and led the financial sector to a 3.2% gain.

Consumer discretionary stocks also scored strong gains, finishing 2.2% for the better. Retailers were in focus amid a relatively mixed round of same-store sales reports for September. J.C. Penney (JCP 28.42, +0.78) managed to stage a strong gain, even though the company cut its earnings forecast.

While financials drove most of the action for the day, it was a broad push into the close that helped the S&P 500 overcome resistance at the 1160 line, which had rebuffed the broad market measure several times throughout the trading session. Stocks didn't breach the line until the final 30 minutes of action.

Strength among stocks put pressure on Treasuries. The corresponding rise in yields took that of the 10-year Note back to 2.00%.

The dollar dove to a loss of about 0.6% against a basket of major foreign currencies. Its tumble came after the euro rallied out of the red to end the day with a 0.6% gain at $1.344. The sterling pound slashed a loss of more than 1% to settle at $1.544 for a loss of only 0.2%. The pound's initial punishment came in response to a decision by the Bank of England (BoE) to increase its asset purchase plan by 75 billion to 275 billion pounds. The BoE kept its benchmark interest rate at 0.50%, though. The European Central Bank (ECB) kept its target at 1.50%, which surprised many since some sort of accommodative measure had become widely expected among market pundits.

Data had little impact on today's trade. The only item on the docket was the latest weekly initial jobless claims count, which increased by 6,000 week-over-week to 401,000. It barely differed from the consensus call for 402,000 initial claims.

Tomorrow brings the always pivotal official non-farm payrolls report. Participants were given a glimpse of the September number by a better-than-expected ADP Employment Change earlier this week, although the ADP is not always statistically identical. No matter the number, though, the reaction to the report should be telling of market sentiment, especially since stocks have rallied 6% during the course of the past three sessions.

Advancing Sectors: Financials +3.2%, Materials +2.5%, Consumer Discretionary +2.2%, Industrials +2.2%, Tech +1.7%, Energy +1.6%, Utilities +1.6%, Health Care +1.1%, Consumer Staples +1.0%, Telecom +0.6%
Declining Sectors: (None)

Source: Briefing

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