Photo: Leonid Mamchenkov via Flickr

The market continued to rise today, disregarding the weak consumer sentiment number and various crises around the world.First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow up 0.41%
  • NASDAQ up 0.24%
  • S&P 500 up 0.32%

Now, the headlines:

  • Overnight in Asia, markets performed well, with the Nikkei and Hang Seng up over 1%. The situation at Fukushima seemed to worsen, as authorities reported increasing radiation fears and widened their evacuation zone.
  • European markets were barely in the green, after few surprises from the European Union conference. German Chancellor Angela Merkel did force a reduction in the initial capital for the region’s new bailout fund. German banks’ significant exposure to Ireland’s banks was also revealed. 
  • Overnight, strong earnings out of Oracle gave the U.S. market the impetus to open higher. A weak report out of RIMM was largely ignored by the market, though its shares were down over 11%.
  • The earnings news was followed on by an as expected GDP report, and a weaker than expected consumer sentiment number. Data in the consumer sentiment report indicated that rising oil prices are starting to get consumers worried about inflation.
  • The early afternoon saw the wires battered with a series of comments from Fed leaders, the most notable from Philadelphia President Charles Plosser. His plan for the Fed to move away from policy stimulus involves raising rates to 2.5% over a 12 months. These and other hawkish comments sent gold lower and the dollar higher.
  • Protests continued in earnest throughout the Middle East, with Syria the hottest locale today. Pro-regime protesters attacked Al-Jazeera for showing footage of the slaughter of protesters by the government.
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