Economic Data, Europe Hopes Send Stocks Higher

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Includes: DIA, QQQ, SPY
by: Midnight Trader

4:25 PM, Oct 5, 2011 --

  • NYSE up 121.18 (+1.8%) to 6,844.16
  • DJIA up 131.24 (+1.2%) to 10,939.95
  • S&P 500 up 20 (+1.8%) to 1,144
  • Nasdaq up 55 (+2.3%) to 2,460

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

  • Nikkei down 0.9%.
  • Hang Seng closed.
  • Shanghai Composite closed.
  • FTSE-100 up 3.2%.
  • DAX-30 up 4.3%.

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) YHOO reportedly preparing to send financials to potential buyers.

(+) RIMM gains amid reports it's looking at strategic options.

(+) BCRX says gout treatment meets primary endpoint in study.

(+) APOL upgraded.

(+) DIS upgraded.

(+) ROC upgraded.

(-) NFLX gets new neutral coverage.

(+) ARIA, MRK say FDA Accepts NDA for Bone Sarcoma Treatment

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) APKT continues evening slide that followed sales warning.

(-) GOOG downgraded.

(-) HD downgraded.

(-) COST down despite beat with Q4 results.

(-) VZ gets new equal-weight rating.

(-) DKS downgraded.

MARKET DIRECTION

Stocks log solid closing gains, including a triple-digit advance for the DJIA thanks to a late-day move. Reports on a European bank recapitalization plan and improved U.S. economic data lifted Wall Street's mood today. The Nasdaq's 2% gain fronted the advance.

In the latest employment news, payrolls of private employers grew more than expected last month by 91,000 jobs, according to ADP, a payroll processing company. That was above expectations for a gain of 75,000, according to a Reuters poll. The news was tempered, however, by big job cutbacks elsewhere in the economy. Consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas noted in a report this morning that employers had planned 115,730 job cuts last month.

Also today, the September Institute of Supply Management services index came in at 53, better than the Briefing.com mean forecast for 50. The index was at 53.3 in August.

Overseas, the Financial Times reported that European Union finance ministers are examining ways to coordinate recapitalizations of financial institutions after agreeing that additional measures are needed.

Commodities finished trading higher as gold futures came off a lackluster start to finish up over 1%. Crude oil also added gains.

Light, sweet crude oil for November delivery finished up 5.3% to $79.68 a barrel. In other energy futures, heating oil was up 1.7% to $2.76 a gallon while natural gas was down 1.46% to $3.58 per million British thermal units.

Meanwhile, gold finished up over 1% as prior-session price declines brought buyers back into the market.

Gold for December delivery finished up 1.6% to $1,641.60 an ounce. In other metal futures, silver was up 1.85% to $30.39 a troy ounce while copper traded up 0.82% to $3.12.

In company news:

Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell after Samsung Electronics Co. (OTC:SSNLF) said Wednesday it would try to stop the sale of Apple Inc.'s iPhone 4S in France and Italy, aiming to use the product's rollout as leverage against Apple in a broader fight over the design of smart phones and tablet computers, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

ADRs of AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) fell after Reuters reported the company is defending its U.S. patent for Crestor - its multibillion-dollar cholesterol drug. The patents are facing an appeal by generic drug makers, but industry analysts expect the drug maker will prevail in the case.

Shares of ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) gained while Bloomberg reports that China's State Oceanic Administration said the Boahi Bay field where the oil major, along with its Chinese partner, conducted oil field operations, is still leaking oil. The company had earlier said the leak had stopped.

Shares of Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK) fell on a Reuters report that New York state and federal prosecutors are suing the bank in two separate lawsuits seeking over $2 billion. The lawsuits allege that it cheated clients in foreign exchange transactions.

In earnings news:

--Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ:COST) fell after the retailer reported fiscal Q4 EPS of $1.08 per share, $1.12 if a 4-cent-per-share inventory charge is excluded. That compares to $0.97 a year earlier and the Street view, usually ex-items, for $1.10. Sales rose to $27.59 billion from $23.59 billion. Revenue, including membership fees, also rose 17%, to $28.18 billion from $24.13 billion. The Street expected $27.85 billion of sales. The comparable sales reflected increases of 10% in the U.S. and 19% internationally, Costco said.