The Dow Holds Firm
It was unlikely the markets would top yesterday's big gains that saw all three major indexes up over 1.5% by the close of business; wowever, the lack of real retracement on a relatively light news day is a positive sign that the bulls are holding firm. Here's how the indexes finished the trading session:
|Gain / Loss||Gain / Loss %||Ending Value|
|Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI)||16.42||0.12%||13,194.10|
|Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC)||0.85||0.03%||3,040.73|
Source: Yahoo! Finance.
The three indexes put in mixed but essentially flat performances. The Dow showed the most resilience thanks to the strong performance of several financial components. Yesterday's stress test results yielded big 6% and 7% pops for JPMorgan Chase (NYS: JPM) and Bank of America (NYS: BAC) , and the good news continued today. Bank of America gained an additional 4%, leading all Dow components, while American Express (NYS: AXP) wasn't far behind, with a 3.5% increase. Financials led us into this crisis and lending remains depressed, but if credit markets open up as the recovery continues to appear to be taking hold, we could be at the start of a virtuous cycle.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq also held on to yesterday's gains, helped by Apple (NAS: AAPL) . The world's largest company was the most active on the index: 50 million shares exchanged hands as it continues its 2012 run that has seen it gain 46% so far this year. Apple popped 3.8% after a Morgan Stanley analyst put a base-case share-price target of $720, with a bull case at a whopping $960. Some are starting to voice concern that the stock has risen too far, too fast, but with consumers frothing for the new iPad's release just days away, Apple's string of hits doesn't seem likely to be in jeopardy any time soon.
A better approach
Watching the broad market each day can be exciting, but also gut-wrenching and stressful. If you're in the mood to pick up a great company to buy for the long term, though, The Motley Fool has created a brand-new free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." It features a company hand-selected by the Fool's chief investment officer for the a strong future ahead of it. I invite you to take a copy, free for a limited time. Get access to the report and find out the name of this legendary company. The report is free, but won't be forever, so check it out today.
At the time this article was published David Williamsonholds no position in any company mentioned.Click hereto see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Apple; creating a bull call spread position in Apple; and creating a write covered strangle position in American Express. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.
Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.