Monday, October 13, 2008

Stocks Roar Back in Huge Upside Session

If you sold during the past week, you're probably kicking yourself right about now, but there are still bargains aplenty in the market if today's massive gains are any indication.

Finally, after weeks of wrenching losses, all of the various moves and methods of governments around the globe seemed to have some effect. Indices worldwide racked up huge gains, with the US markets in line with other national indices. Stocks were up anywhere from 7 to 10% across Asia and Europe. Brazil's Bovespa Index scored a 14% gain.

The Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ all recorded record gains in excess of 11%, with the NYSE Composite the laggard, posting a 10.2% gain.

Dow 9,387.61 +936.42; NASDAQ 1,844.25 +194.74; S&P 500 1,003.35 +104.13; NYSE Composite 6,400.96 +590.98

European nations pledged $2.3 trillion for their ailing banks and the Bush administration plans to move ahead with the purchase of equity stakes in US financial institutions as part of the $700 billion plan approved by congress a little more than a week ago. With so much money being thrown the bankers' way, it's little wonder that everyone - from Main Street to Wall Street -breathed sighs of relief on Monday.

Market internals showed dramatic numbers with advancers beating decliners, 5890-634, though there were still 258 new lows as compared to only 4 new 52-week highs. Volume was solid, but by no means overextended, which is a positive sign.

NYSE Volume 2,164,607,000
NASDAQ Volume 2,636,781,000

While the day's gains were outsize and welcome, a sobering view of the markets still observes general malaise, with most major indices well off their highs and still down significantly for the year. With the holiday season coming, it will be interesting to note consumer spending and retail sales. Additionally, the US 3rd quarter earnings season gets into full swing this week and next.

Commodity markets were ambiguous from all the excitement in equities. Oil futures rose $3.69, to $81.68. Gold lost $16.50, closing at $842.50, while silver added 19 cents, to $10.79.

For now, it seems like the crippling credit crisis has been averted, or at least postponed. Americans are eager to get on with the November elections and replace many aspects of the federal government. What the coming months and years will bring is still unknown.

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