STOCKS MAKE HUGE COMEBACK AND SURGE: Here's What You Need To Know

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Some good U.S. economic data helped fuel a monster rally in stocks.First, the scoreboard:

Dow: 12,904.0, +123.1, +0.9%
S&P 500: 1,358.0, +14.8, +1.1%
NASDAQ: 2,959.8, +44.0, +1.5%

And now, the top stories:

  • There was no major news about Greece coming directly from European officials.  However, reports surfaced that the European Central Bank could possibly increase its role in financing the Greek bailout. This rumour was well-received by the markets. According To UBS’s Art Cashin, Traders Are Worried About Something Much Bigger Than Greece >
  • We learned a lot about the U.S. economy today.  The producer price index climbed by just 0.1 per cent, which was cooler than the 0.4 per cent increase expected by economists.  Core PPI–which excludes food and energy prices–increased 0.4 per cent, which was hotter than expectations.  Wholesale drug costs were up significantly during the period.  This Is Paul Krugman’s Massive Presentation On The Welfare State And The US Economy >
  • January housing starts jumped to 699k at an annual rate beating economists’ estimate of 675k.  It’s worth noting that the December number was revised up to 689k from an earlier reading of 657k.  But Here Are 10 States That Are Getting pummelled By Foreclosures >
  • Initial jobless claims fell to 348k, the lowest reading since March 2008.  In recent years, stocks have exhibited a strong inverse correlation with weekly jobless claims.  
  • The Philadelphia Fed jumped to 10.2, beating expectations for 9.0.  This was well ahead of last month’s reading of 7.3.  It was also the highest reading since October.
  • Shares of General Motors surged on a strong earnings announcement.  GM reported Q4 revenue of $38.0 billion and EPS of $0.39.  This compared to analysts’ estimate of $27.7 billion and EPS of $0.41.  For the full year, revenue and net income jumped 11 per cent and 62 per cent, respectively.
  • Last night, Moody’s warned that it could soon cut the long-term credit ratings of 17 big global banks,  It said Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, and UBS could see their ratings get slashed by up to three notches.  JP Morgan, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs were among banks that could see a two-notch cut.  However, none of this put a dent in any of the stocks.
  • Don’t Miss: Whitney Tilson’s Massive Presentation On The Economy, Markets, And Why He Is Not Buying Apple >

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