Endeavour rockets through skyEndeavour blasts through sky

Photo: Beth Beck

Bullish U.S. economic data and improving confidence in Europe reinvigorates the rally.First, the scoreboard:

Dow: +167 pts, +1.5%
S&P 500: +21 pts, +1.7%
NASDAQ: +48 pts, +1.8%

And now, the top stories:

  • Neither yesterday’s downgrade of Spain nor this morning’s rumour of severe 50% Greek debt haircuts could reverse the improving confidence in Europe.  Expectations are high for next week’s huge EU summit.
  • The Euro soared against the dollar today continuing a 10-day uptrend.  The major European stock markets also closed higher.
  • Some of the biggest news today was probably the surprising retail sales figure.  September retail sales jumped 1.1%, beating expectations for just 0.7% growth.
  • Based on the strong retail numbers, you would’ve never guessed that the consumer sentiment reading came in at just 57.5, missing expectations of 60.2. Perhaps weak consumer sentiment is actually bullish for stocks.
  • Speaking of retail sales, Apple fans lined up early this morning to be the first to get their hands on the brand new iPhone 4S.  Piper Jaffray estimates 2-2.5 million phones will be sold this weekend.  Apple closed at an all-time high.
  • also closed at an all-time high.
  • Another huge tech name that gained today was Google, which crushed earnings expectations last night.  EPS came in at $9.72 versus the $8.74 consensus. Ad revenues were strong with Android projected to pull in $2.5 billion this year.  Google+ users topped 40 million.
  • Oil prices jumped 4% today.  The improving outlook in Europe and the U.S. is bullish for energy prices.  Energy stocks followed energy prices higher.
  • In other economic news, import prices unexpectedly rose 0.3% while economists expected a 0.5% decline.
  • Don’t Miss: Countdown To The E.U. Summit: Here’s What You Should Expect

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