The Dow Gets a Shot of Ouzo
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) capped off a strong week today gaining nearly 1%, or 115 points, to give it almost 2% increase for the week. The gain was puzzling, though, as there was little news outside negative economic reports that came out this morning. May industrial production output was down 0.1% from April, and the Michigan Consumer Sentiment figure was also lower than expected.
The market seemed to be optimistic that the Greek election on Sunday could lead to more stimulus. The head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, said, "The eurosystem will continue to supply liquidity to solvent banks where needed," and markets in France and Germany climbed more than 1.4% on Draghi's statement.
Turning to individual stocks, Bank of America (NYS: BAC) led the way, gaining more than 3% on the hopes of financial stimulus. Fellow financial component American Express also moved up more than 2%. Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) jumped 2.3% on news that it will acquire the business social-networking site Yammer for $1.2 billion. The site is designed for business collaboration and could be a natural fit with Microsoft's Office suite.
Fellow tech stocks Facebook (NAS: FB) and Zynga (NAS: ZNGA) also shot up by 6% and 11%, respectively. A Goldman Sachs analyst gave the social gamer a buy rating and a price target of $13, saying that bookings numbers look better than expected, causing the stock to spike in afternoon trading. The news seemed to help boost Facebook shares as well, as the two company's businesses are closely tied, but Facebook's CTO announced after hours that he will be leaving the company later this summer. The departure marks the first senior-level exit since its IPO, as CTO Bret Taylor said he will be leaving to start his own company.
All eyes on Greece
If you're nervous about the havoc Greek elections could wreak on markets, remember there are opportunity in all corners of the globe. Get a leg up on the competition with our special free report: "3 American Companies Set To Dominate The World." It has a group of brands you're sure to be familiar with that are ready to pounce on a billion-strong middle class in emerging markets. Get your copy now.
At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Facebook, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft and Goldman Sachs, creating a write covered strangle position in American Express, and creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.