U.S. stocks gained Monday, extending Wall Street's best weekly performance this year, as investors applauded Spain's request for financial aid for its banks. "Financial markets this week may take some comfort in the announcement of European support for Spanish banks. While this aid has little chance of stimulating Spain's deeply recessionary economy, it does reduce the threat of a new wave of financial contagion emanating from the euro-zone debt crisis," noted David Kelly, chief global strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds, in emailed research. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 75 points to 12,629, with all but one of its 30 components positive. The S&P 500 Index added 6 points to 1,331, with energy and financials leading the gains among its 10 sectors. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 14 points to 2,872. As great as the rally is, personally I'm surprised we're not up 200 points in the Dow. The news is quiet on the corporate front. The energy space is performing well. Progress Energy is higher by 3% finalizing the deal to merge with Duke Energy. Duke received an upgrade. Noble Energy is lower on a downgrade. AK Steel is down 10% on a downgrade. The rest of the sectors are struggling. The financials are only modestly higher. GE and Goldman Sachs talked off spinning off some divisions, but both stocks are modestly in the green. In the tech space EMC, Nvidia, and Broadcom are higher on upgrades. Apple and Google also look good. Apple has a developer's conference today. Facebook is up 2% on an upgrade and news the stock should soon be added to the Russell 3000. Through the first hour the averages started to sell off. Not a good sign. Investors flocked to defensive issues like utilities, consumer staples, healthcare, and telecom. Altria, Walmart, AT&T, Verizon, Southern Company, and Duke Energy all made new 52 week highs. Investors playing defense.
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