These Stocks Greece-d the Dow's Wheels Today


There's yet another critical election in Greece this weekend that could determine the fate of the eurozone. Closer to home, consumer sentiment fell sharply in early June from its five-year high reading in May. But stock markets don't seem to be concerned in the slightest, as the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) soared yet again, with investors complacent in their belief that central banks will once again save them from whatever may come from the European debt crisis. By the close, the Dow had jumped 115 points, marking its second straight triple-digit advance. Most of the Dow's component stocks advanced, and the broader market actually posted even larger percentage gains.

As another mark of the market's confidence, the top-performing stock in the Dow was actually downearly this morning. Bank of America (NYS: BAC) closed up almost 3%, recovering as Reuters reported that the bank's delinquency rates and credit-card charge-offs fell during May from April's figures. A macroeconomic shock could make those figures turn in the other direction, but for now, Bank of America and several of its peers seem to be benefiting from improved financial health from their customers.

Chevron (NYS: CVX) rose 2.4% today even as crude oil prices rose only modestly. In the past, monetary easing and other extraordinary measures from central banks have spurred investors to increase risk in their portfolios, which has then boosted oil prices. Investors may be trying to get a jump on the competition by assuming such a move will happen this time around as well, although ExxonMobil (NYS: XOM) rose a more modest 1.3%. That could set up investors for potential disappointment, but for now, confidence still reigns over fear.

Finally, tech companies did well overall. In addition to Microsoft's rise after reports of its buyout of Yammer, IBM (NYS: IBM) jumped more than 2% as well. The tech sector has been resilient throughout the ups and downs of the economy over the past several years, and with many seeing value characteristics from what were once growth giants, both Microsoft and IBM have started attracting interest from a new set of investors.

How now, Dow?
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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorDan Caplingerdoesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter,@DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool owns shares of IBM, Bank of America, and Microsoft.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Chevron and Microsoft, as well as creating a bull call spread position on Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Fool has adisclosure policy.

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