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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