Stocks push higher as Nasdaq gets back into black for 2009

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After being down 25 percent for the year in early March, the NASDAQ is back to even for 2009. It is an extraordinary rally which shows that tech can still dig the market out of a funk. The fact that shares in companies like Intel (INTC) and Apple (AAPL) are up for the year helps.

The only sector that struggled much during the day was the financial sector. Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) were the only two Dow Jones Industrial Average component stocks to fall, as the DJIA climbed 159 points, or 2 percent, to close at 7,909.

Citi was off as much as 5 percent. It may be that the market is concerned about the possibility of much greater regulation of the sector by Washington or that there is a growing fear that commercial real estate loan defaults will cause a new wave of write-offs at large banks.

It says a lot about how perverse the market can be when shares of The Washington Post ( WPO) and New York Times (NYT) rallied on news that they would fire people and cut salaries. The stories are tragic for the already beaten-down newspaper industry, but traders may have seen it as a trend that will give the properties a chance to survive.

The only sector that made a major move was solar power, mostly shares of companies based in China. Several news reports speculated that the US and China stimulus packages might funnel a lot of money to alternative energy. Industry leader JA Solar (JASO) was up 40% to $3.77.

Two weeks ago, no one would have believed that the NASDAQ would trade in the green before the end of the quarter. It is a sign of how furious the rally has been.

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Markets

S&P 500 2,191.95 0.87 0.04%
DJIA 19,170.42 -21.51 -0.11%
NASDAQ 5,255.65 4.55 0.09%
DAX 10,513.35 -20.70 -0.20%
HANG SENG 22,564.82 -313.41 -1.37%
NIKKEI 225 18,426.08 -87.04 -0.47%
USD (per EUR) 1.07 0.00 0.06%
USD (per CHF) 1.01 0.00 -0.01%
JPY (per USD) 113.48 -0.41 -0.36%
GBP (per USD) 1.27 0.01 1.16%

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