Dow: The Force Is Strong With This One


The Cyprus situation has been a thorn in the Dow Jones Industrial Average's side for much of the week. And though there is still a huge amount of uncertainty surrounding the country's resolution to its economic problems, U.S. investors are feeling better as we head into the weekend. So far this morning the Dow is up by 77 points, recapturing a nice chunk of the 90 points it lost yesterday. Though there's no help from economic news releases today, investors may have finally figured out that the impact of Cyprus' economic problems may not reach our shores, and are headed back to the markets.

Disney is up this 1.19% morning following the news that a Star Wars theme park is in the works -- sending Ewoks and Wookies worldwide into celebration mode. Since Disney acquired Lucasfilm last year and all the rights to the Star Wars franchise, it has given investors plenty of reasons to raise their light sabers in the air. A new film is slated to hit the theaters in 2015, various Disney parks around the world are being updated to include the franchise, and now the entertainment giant appears to be doing market research on the popularity of a Star Wars theme park near Disneyland in California. Disney may also be enjoying the change of season, since the first day of spring on Wednesday marks the start of vacation season, meaning more revenue coming in from its theme parks.

The tech sector was a big drag on the Dow yesterday, but Hewlett-Packard seems to be rebounding as the biggest winner of the index's 30 component stocks so far in trading. Up 1.52% this morning, HP has regained most of what it lost yesterday. News that the company's board had been re-elected left a bad taste in many shareholders' mouths yesterday. Since the company acquired and later wrote off the majority of the European-based Autonomy, many investors have been calling for a change in the boardroom. But the displeasure of yesterday's news has been quickly reversed as investors try to regain shares in order to get the newly increased dividend from HP. The board approved a 10% increase -- a big incentive for investors to hold on to (or buy more) shares.

JPMorgan Chase is finally on the rise after three days of losses, up 1.18% so far in trading. The recent revelations that the bank and its executives hid the true losses sustained from last year's London Whale debacle have shaken investors who held the bank in the highest regard. As one of the only banks to escape the financial crisis largely unscathed, JPM has only now been shown to have weaknesses. The Fed's recent stress test results cited weakness in the bank's capital plan and required a new plan be submitted by the fourth quarter. Though this information is usually confidential, it's been revealed that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency downgraded the bank in its measurement of management and board last summer following the Whale incident -- signaling that oversight required improvement. There's no real sign as to why the bank is rallying so far today, but investors should be vigilant as the SEC may soon announce that it will be filing charges against the bank for its cover-up of the London trading losses.

Bank of America , on the other hand, had been up for the first three days of the week only to lose some ground yesterday. The bank is hovering around breakeven so far in trading after dropping sharply earlier this morning. B of A and many of its compatriots have been named in a suit brought on by Freddie Mac regarding the LIBOR rigging scandal. The suit is against 15 international banks and the damages could add up to $3 billion. This is just the latest in the string of lawsuits Bank of America has had to fight since the financial crisis -- creating more uncertainty about the bank's future and erasing many of the gains the bank has made since passing the Fed's stress tests with flying colors.

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