STOCKS RALLY: Here's What You Need To Know

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Markets surged today.First the scoreboard:

Dow: 12,908, +103.1, +0.8%
S&P 500: 1,372, +9.1, +0.6%
NASDAQ: 2,942, +32.5, +1.1%

And now the top stories:

  • We got more good news out of the U.S. housing market.  Housing starts jumped to 760k in June, up from 711k in May.  This was well ahead of the 745k expected by economists.
  • The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, a compilation of regional anecdotes on the economy, was less rosy.  The Fed indicated that manufacturing and retail sales were weaker in June.  Four Fed district reported that economic activity had decelerated.
  • The slowing activity could have something to do with the uncertain outlook.  Some of this uncertainty is certainly tied to the fiscal cliff: hundreds of billions of dollars worth of government spending programs and tax cuts that are expected to expire at the end of the year.  Bob Stevens, the CEO of Lockheed Martin warned that he would have to layoff as many as 10k employees if we went over that fiscal cliff.
  • Economist Gary Shilling told Bloomberg today that 25 out of the last 27 times retail sales fell the way they just did, the U.S. economy was in recession.  On the other hand, Deutsche Bank Economist Joe LaVorgna notes that tax receipts point to labour income growth, which suggests that a recession is not imminent.  Shilling And LaVorgna Shared With Us The Most Important Charts In The World >
  • Meanwhile, corn prices surged again has drought conditions continue to plague American farms.  According to Accuweather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, the USDA will soon have to slash its corn yield projections again. Here Are 11 Wild Facts About Corn >
  • Bank Of America announced that it had returned to profitability thanks to surging commercial lending and improving credit quality.  The financial behemoth Announced Earnings of $0.19 per share, which was ahead of analysts estimates of $0.15.  “In a challenging global economy, we still see opportunities to do more with our customers and clients,” Bank of America Chief Brian Moynihan said.  According to the announcement, the bank slashed 12k jobs in the last year.
  • After the closing bell, we’ll here from IBM and Yum! Brands, which are great indicators of the global business and discretionary spending.  We’ll cover the announcements LIVE at Business Insider.
  • Don’t Miss: The Craziest Things You Can Order At KFCs Overseas >

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