Euphoria returned to Wall Street once again as encouraging developments from the overseas currency bloc gave the bulls a reason to stampede. Investors cheered on the debt swap in Europe as Greek bondholders pushed forward with the proposed bailout helping to ease many of the looming uncertainties. The Nasdaq took the lead, gaining 1.18% on the day, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged behind, creeping higher by 0.55%.
Worse-than-expected economic news on the home front was overshadowed by optimism spilling over from the eurozone. Investors brushed aside the less-than-stellar weekly jobless claims report - 362,000 people filed for unemployment benefits versus the previous reading of only 354,000. Aside from the Greek debt deal news, the other major developments overseas included two key central bank meetings. The Bank of England and the European Central Bank both held interest rates steady, keeping their benchmark rates unchanged at 0.50% and 1.0% respectively.
The Vanguard European ETF (VGK) was one the strongest performers, gaining 2.71% on the day, bolstered by positive news out of Greece. Markets soared as the majority of private investors agreed to move forward with the Greek debt swap, paving the way for the biggest sovereign restructuring in history. The swap aims to help Greece reduce its towering debt from 160% of GDP down to 120% by 2020.
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The S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) was one of the weakest performers, shedding 3.76% on the day, as the cloud of uncertainty looming over the eurozone has shrunk considerably. The Volatility Index sank toward the 18 mark right from the opening bell as encouraging fundamental developments helped ease concerns and restore confidence back in the markets.
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