2 Big Reasons the Dow Is Leaping Higher Today

Never content to sit idle for long, the Dow Jones Industrials Average (INDEX: ^DJI) has shown big swings the last few days. Today the index is up 1.6% about an hour before market close. Both the S&P and Nasdaq are up big as well. Here's a look at how each is faring right now.



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The big news
If today's enthusiasm were to be distilled into two words, they'd be "Spanish relief." After the yield on the indebted nation's bonds climbed above 6% yesterday, many investors feared the worst. But a strong showing from its 12-month and 18-month debt sales pushed the 10-year bond back below 6% today. Before declaring victory, investors would do well to watch the longer-term debt auction later in the week. A good or bad showing from the auction could easily result in another 1%-plus movement for the index.

Profits by a million pennies
The second most influential market mover today is the collectively strong performance by many major U.S. companies. Alcoa kicked off earnings with a blowout performance a week ago, and the markets have hung on to the momentum. We've seen reasonably strong numbers from the banking space. Citigroup (NYS: C) saw first-quarter revenue growth climb 4% year over year, and improved mortgage results have investors optimistic about the space as a whole. Let's hope Bank of America (NYS: BAC) gets the memo before it reports in two days. The bank is up 60% in just a few months, but many think it's got the potential to easily be a double.

Today it's Coca-Cola (NYS: KO) that's in the limelight. The company's earnings report is pushing shares 2.5% higher right now on reports of 5% global volume growth. Today's price puts it near 14-year highs, even despite concerns about rising sugar costs depressing margins. As a shareholder of Coca-Cola, I'm more excited by the volume growth than I am about margin concerns in the future. My main impetus for purchases was its brand strength coupled with an immense distribution network, so I'll take a little future margin pressure if it keeps the volume growth up.

Outside the Dow, Apple (NAS: AAPL) is leaping 4.3%, taking the Nasdaq along for a lofty 2.1% gain for the day. Some investors woke up this morning, looked at Apple's 10% pullback with fear, and called that a correction was due. It seems the company is only content squashing expectations, and answered back with a big gain for the day. Analysts have cautioned against lower iPhone sales in the second quarter, but they're stating the obvious. We're moving further from the initial release, and last quarter benefited from holiday sales. This isn't cause for legitimate investor concern going forward.

The best approach
Today's big earnings announcements from Coca-Cola, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, and IBM show how a little positive news can move the market in a big way. That's why it pays to be ahead of the trend. Our analysts will give you a leg up on what to watch for this earnings season in their new report: "5 Stocks Investors Need to Watch This Earnings Season." You can learn more by clicking here. Enjoy, and Fool on!

At the time thisarticle was published Austin Smith owns shares of Coca-Cola and Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of International Business Machines, Johnson & Johnson, Citigroup, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, and Intel. The Fool owns shares of Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, and Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple and a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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