Dow Soars 181 Points; China and Google In the Wings

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"Rumors of China's GDP report coming in better-than-expected made the rounds today, and it didn't take long for the momentum to pick up," pointed out Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell. "After five consecutive down days on the S&P 500, this marks the second straight session of a new winning streak for the index." The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) also enjoyed another triple-digit jump. "Let's hope this isn't a 'buy the rumor, sell the news,'" added Bell.

Keep reading to see what else was on our radar today:

  • See what high hopes for China can do for the markets.
  • Bell sounded off on Google ( GOOG ) ahead of earnings.
  • Adam Warner explained how savvy contrarians should trade -- or not -- in TVIX .
  • Plus, Equities Analyst Tony Venosa highlighted some potential movers among regional bank stocks .
And now, a look at the numbers...

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,986.58) knocked on 13,000's door today with a 181.2-point, or 1.4%, surge higher. In the last minutes of trading, the Dow tagged its session peak of 12,986.96. Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ) paced the 26 winning blue chips with a 7.2% jump, while McDonald's ( MCD ) led the four underperformers with a 0.9% dip.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,387.57) finally found a foothold atop the 1,375 level . By the time the dust settled, the SPX gained 18.9 points, or 1.4%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,055.55) put on 39 points, or 1.3%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 17.20) -- widely regarded as the market's fear gauge -- headed south for a second day, backpedaling 14.1% to close at its session low of 17.20.

Newsmakers...

"soft landing"

First-time unemployment claims spiked by 13,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 380,000, said the Labor Department . By contrast, economists were looking for initial jobless claims to rise by just 1,000 to 358,000. Additionally, the producer price index (PPI) was unchanged in March, suggesting to some hopeful investors that policymakers might have leeway for more easing .

Also, the weekly survey from the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) showed that the number of bullish investors dropped by roughly 10% last week. Click here to read more.

Today's highlight : "With China news dominating the headlines, the casual observer might have forgotten about Google," explained Bell. "We had a short day-long break after Alcoa's better-than-expected report, but the tech behemoth that seems to do everything right is on tap to unveil earnings tonight. Given the strong two-day bounce, the combination of China and Google's quarterly results could make things interesting tomorrow."

Turning to equities in focus...

For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.

Crude futures continued to rally today. The dollar-denominated commodity was supported by a weakening greenback, as disappointing jobless claims data prompted speculation about another potential round of quantitative easing. Oil for May delivery gained 94 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $103.64 a barrel.

Gold futures easily erased Wednesday's minor loss, catching a lift from the upswing in the broader equities market and a faltering dollar. June-dated gold jumped $20.30, or 1.2%, to land at $1,680.60 an ounce.

Levels to Watch in Trading :

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 12,986.58) - support at 11,500; resistance at 14,000
  • S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,387.57) - support at 1,100; resistance at 1,500
  • Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,055.55) - support at 2,400; resistance at 3,400

OUTPERFORMING AND UNDERPERFORMING SECTORS

STOCKS - MOVERS

STOCKS - EARNINGS

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NEW ANNUAL HIGHS

STOCKS - NEW ANNUAL LOWS

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE

At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's Investment Research reviews the trading day in detail, covering major events and key market developments. Don't miss this critical, timely and insightful report. If you enjoyed today's edition of Market Recap, sign up here for free daily delivery straight to your inbox.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: CAT , FCX , GOOG , HPQ , MCD

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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