DJ30 PointChange: +291.23 Level: 11520.74 NASDAQ PointChange: +85.83 Level: 2525.87 NQ100 PercentChange: +3.4 R2K PercentChange: +4.8 SP400 PercentChange: +3.5 SP500 PointChange: +33.88 Level: 1191.58 NASDAQ-Adv:2130 Dec: 452 NYSE-Adv:2600 Dec: 496
big bounce by Europe's bourses brought about a barrage of buying
interest this morning. For the most part, the major averages held the
ensuing gains -- some bailed out of their positions in the final hour,
but a last minute squeeze lifted stocks at the close.
Market participants in Europe were encouraged by a new eurozone
fiscal pact that could make budget discipline legally binding and
enforceable, along with word that the IMF is devising a lending plan for
Italy, though the latter story was refuted. France's CAC climbed more
than 5%, while Germany's DAX advanced well in excess of 4%. Strength
throughout the region gave the EuroStoxx 50 a gain greater than 3%.
The display of such positive sentiment in the otherwise precarious
continent was welcomed by domestic markets, which have been stuck in a
downtrend for more than a week. In fact, seven straight losses for the
S&P 500 resulted in a cumulative loss of almost 8%.
The troubles of Europe have long overshadowed corporate news reports
and even economic data, but the improvement in the market's mood made it
easier to give attention to positive nature of early holiday shopping
reports. Record spending levels this past weekend suggest that consumer
headwinds might not be as stiff as many had feared. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 50.17, +1.67) settled more than 3% higher.
Data was limited to the latest new home sales numbers, which showed
that sales during October hit an annualized rate of 307,000. That is
slightly less than what had been expected, but up slightly from the
downwardly revised pace that was posted in the prior month. The report
failed to influence broad market trade,
but shares of homebuilders set session highs not long after its
release. Homebuilders scored a gain of nearly 4% on the session, as
measured by the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB 15.51, +0.55).
Buying interest was certainly broad, but natural resource plays
sported the strongest gains. They held their heady gains even after
several key commodities pulled back in afternoon trade, causing the CRB
Commodity Index to settle well off of its session high with a 0.8% gain.
Commodities gains were partly challenged by the greenback's effort to
gain ground against competing currencies -- the dollar cut its loss to
0.5%, about half of what it was at session's open, by day's end partly
because interest in the euro had waned.
Materials +3.6%, Energy +3.6%, Tech +3.5%, Industrials +3.3%, Consumer
Discretionary +3.0%, Financials +3.0%, Health Care +2.7%, Telecom +2.1%,
Consumer Staples +1.5%, Utilities +1.3%
Declining Sectors: (None)