Equity markets staged a ferocious rebound today following Monday’s dismal sell-off. Investors brushed aside worse-than-expected economic data on the home front, instead focusing on upbeat commentary from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as a successful Spanish bond auction overseas. On Wall Street, the Nasdaq charged ahead, clinching gains of 1.82% on the day, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average just barely lagged behind, gaining 1.50% as the trading session drew to a close.
Housing market and manufacturing data releases both came in worse-than-expected. Housing starts in March came in at 654,000 versus the expected 703,000, while industrial production figures came in flat, versus expectations of 0.3% growth. Nonetheless, bullish forces prevailed across equity markets around the world after the IMF raised its global economic growth forecasts for 2012 and 2013, citing improving financial conditions in the U.S. as well as across emerging markets.
The State Street Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) was one of the strongest performers, gaining 2.18% on the day. Gains in the technology sector were largely fueled by Apple’s impressive rebound on Tuesday. Shares of the consumer electronics giant rallied close to $30, gaining just over 5% on the day. Heavy trading volumes in XLK came in just before the closing bell, perhaps suggesting that bullish momentum has returned for good.
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(click to enlarge)The Barclays iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) was one of the worst performers, shedding a dismal 5.27% on the day. Uncertainty seemingly evaporated from the market as investors digested an optimistic outlook from the IMF along with easing concerns surrounding the latest Spanish debt auction. The VIX Index fell below the 20 mark right from the opening bell, managing to settle just under the 19 mark as the closing bell rang.
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