The run of the bears came to a halt today, as stocks pushed higher for most of Thursday. Bank stocks did well, as did the health-care sector. Tech stocks were less bouyant, and the Nasdaq saw a small slip for the day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average recently rose 57 points to 8554, it’s first up day since the index began sliding on Friday. Still, with the Dow down more than 300 points since the Weisenthal Top took hold, that’s not much of a victory for the bulls. Every single financial component of the Dow traded higher, with Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase rallying sharply.
The S&P 500 advanced 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell slightly, stumbling in the last few minutes before the close after being in positive territory for most of the afternoon.
There are at least three ways to spin the financial sector rally. First, you can say market thinks the financial sector will perform much better under the new scrutiny proposed by the Obama administration. Alternatively, you can say that the market is expressing relief that the new reform proposals aren’t too draconian. Finally, you can say that investors basically think that the financial sector has been let off the hook, and profits won’t be much affected by the changes.
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