Finally, the stock market gave investors a little bit of good news. After four straight days of disappointing declines that lopped another 480 points off the average, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) managed to bounce just a little bit, rising almost a quarter-percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (INDEX: ^IXIC) and the broader S&P 500 both managed larger percentage gains, as investors chose to ignore the ongoing European crisis to look instead at more favorable U.S. economic data. Interest rates on bonds rose after hitting record lows last week, and oil and gold prices also moved slightly higher.
Among stocks in the news, Hewlett-Packard (NYS: HPQ) was one of the big winners in the Dow, rising almost 3% as it announced an expansion of its Converged Cloud portfolio of solutions. The company's attempt to deliver a single architecture combining private and public cloud environments as well as regular IT solutions is part of CEO Meg Whitman's long-term strategic vision for the company, and Whitman delivered a keynote speech this morning that emphasized how hard HP is working to return to its former glory.
But 13 of the Dow's 30 stocks fell. Despite a generally positive day for energy stocks overall, both ExxonMobil (NYS: XOM) and Chevron (NYS: CVX) posted declines. The plunge in crude oil has translated into lower prices at the pump, but Exxon warned that government regulation of unconventional shale gas production threatens to bring the huge expansion in the sector to an abrupt halt. The comments added to previous calls from industry leaders calling for a unified U.S. energy policy.
Looking forward to tomorrow, stocks in London will have their first chance to trade this week after a two-day holiday. Given the U.K.'s proximity to continental Europe but its clearly independent fiscal policy and currency, how its stocks react to ongoing events on the continent could give investors valuable clues as to whether attempts to rein in the crisis are building confidence there.
Will the Dow rise again?
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