What's Behind the Dow's 175-Point Jump


A day after adding 115 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged for a second consecutive day after remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke again rallied stocks. The Dow rose 175 points -- its fourth straight 100-point move -- to end at a five-year high of 14,075.

Bernanke's comments buoyed shares in financial companies such as JPMorgan Chase , which added 3.5% to lead the Dow higher today. The chairman indicated that interest rates will remain low for the near future; lower rates should encourage more borrowing that will in turn facilitate and encourage projects that help the economy. Bank of America/Merrill Lynch also issued a buy rating on JPMorgan shares, with a price target of $55.

Only one of the Dow's 30 components, Hewlett-Packard , was down for the day, which should indicate how robust today's market was. HP, losing only 0.1%, was one of the biggest gainers in the index yesterday, adding nearly 4% after the company announced that it will be going with Google's Android OS on future tablets.

Thankfully, one stock that isn't a part of the Dow is Groupon . Although shares surged nearly 8% Wednesday before its earnings announcement, they were to plunge shortly thereafter, and are down as much as 25% in after-hours trading. Groupon both lost $81 million in the fourth quarter and issued guidance for the first quarter that was far below Wall Street estimates. The double-whammy has proved calamitous for shareholders in the daily deals site.

Another struggling company, J.C. Penney , lost an incredible $522 million in the fourth quarter, more than six times the $87 million it lost in the quarter just a year earlier. Showing what dire straits the retailer is in, sales also fell 28% in just a year, while comparable-store sales contracted more than 30%. The stock, up moderately during the day, fell more than 10% after the bell.

Groupon's story is one of the American Dream. The company went from 400 subscribers in 2008 to over 150 million today. While this story is definitely one of triumph on a business level, investors certainly haven't shared in its success. Company shares have fallen by more than 80% over the past year and left investors panicked. Will this company live out its American Dream or leave shareholders empty-handed? To answer that question, our analyst has compiled a premium research report with in-depth analysis on whether you should buy or sell Groupon right now, and why. Simply click here now to get started.

The article What's Behind the Dow's 175-Point Jump originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor John Divine has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter, @divinebizkid, and on Motley Fool CAPS, @TMFDivine.The Motley Fool recommends Google and owns shares of Bank of America, Google, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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