MARKETS GO HIGHER: Here's What You Need To Know

Fireworks July Fourth July 4

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Markets advanced as headlines from Barclays dominated the day.But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: 12,943, +72, +0.6%
S&P 500: 1,374, +8, +0.6%
Nasdaq: 2,976, +25, +0.8%

Here’s what you need to know.

  • Before markets in the U.S. opened, Barclays announced its chief executive Bob Diamond would resign following the company’s $455 million fine for manipulating LIBOR rates. The bank released a letter saying one of Diamond’s lieutenants, Jerry del Missier, concluded that Barclays was being pressured by the Bank of England to lower their LIBOR submissions.
  • Facebook shares opened stronger following reports from the Wall Street Journal that General Motors was considering advertising with the social network again. The Journal’s Sharon Terlep and Shayndi Raice reported Facebook would give the automaker more data into how its ads translate into clicks and let it use third-party data to target users. These are the two massive IPOs that did worse than Facebook’s >
  • Markets, which started off strong, saw gains improve after a nice Factory Orders report. Orders increased 0.7 per cent, sharply above expectations for a 0.1 per cent reading. Excluding transportation, orders advanced 0.4 per cent.
  • After the opening bell in the U.S., French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced that the French government will impose a 75 per cent tax on income over €1 million, and that the wealthiest tax earners will pay 45 per cent of their income in taxes (in earnings of up to €1 million).
  • Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins defended the company today after announcing layoffs and a worse-than-anticipated losses last week. Heins said, “there’s nothing wrong with the company as it exists right now” and that it is not in a “death spiral.” Shares declined nearly two per cent. Here’s a look at the state of the smartphone industry >
  • Automakers reported surprisingly better-than-expected June sales figures throughout the day. Starting with Chrysler’s 20 per cent jump — which topped expectations for an 18 per cent improvement, manufacturer after manufacturer reported stronger than forecast results. Ford, Nissan, and General Motors all beat, while Toyota missed projections slightly. Business Insider now projects the seasonally adjusted annual pace of sales topped 14 million in June. 
  • Apple shares briefly touched the $600 price point, the first time since April. Shares remained in positive territory throughout the day, but fell back below the $600 figure. 
  • Meanwhile, oil prices surged today. WTI crude oil contract prices advanced 4.9 per cent to $87.99, while Brent moved to $101.30, a 4.1 per cent gain.
  • U.S. equity markets closed early ahead of the July Fourth holiday, with the closing bell ringing at 1 p.m. in New York. 

SEE ALSO: Jim O’Neill Wants Everyone At Goldman To See These 7 Charts >

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