Day Traders Diary


U.S. stocks opened sharply higher on Monday, as earnings helped continue July's strong performance while investors eagerly awaited comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke amid expectations the central bank might provide a further boost to a slowing economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 121 points to 10,587 led by a 2% gain in shares of aluminum giant Alcoa. The S&P 500 index rose 12 points to 1,114, led by the energy and materials sectors. The Nasdaq Composite gained 21 points to 2,276. Up, up, and away. The rally actually started over in Europe and China. The commodities and transports continue to perform well. Potashi is up 2% on an upgrade. Freeport McMoRan is up 3%. The steels are acting well. FedEx, UPS, and the railroads continue to perform well. The financials are higher this morning. CNA Financial and HSBC are both up 5% following earnings. Bank of America is higher following a positive piece in Barrons. Metlife opened lower after announcing a $3 billion stock offering. On the earnings front Humana and Loews are higher following earnings. The analysts are in a good mood this morning. Fortune Brands, Disney, US Airways, and Coke are higher on upgrades. At 10 o'clock, a better than expected manufactoring number sent the averages higher. It's as if someone knows the economy is picking up steam again. Through the morning the averages remained strong. The Dow rose more than 200 points before pulling back. The Nasdaq rose 40 points and held it's gains well. The commodities continue to excel. Potash is up 3.8%, Freeport McMoRan is up 4.5%, Arch Coal is up 5%, and Cleveland Natural Resources is up 7%. Not bad. In the afternoon the averages remained strong moving back toward the highs of the day in the last hour. A good way to start the new week and month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 208 points, or 2%, to end at 10,674, marking the blue-chip average's biggest one-day gain in more than three weeks. All of the Dow's 30 components advanced, led by a 4.8% gain in shares of aluminum giant Alcoa. The S&P 500 index rose 24 points, or 2.2%, to 1,125, led by a 3.6% rally in the energy sector as crude oil topped $81 a barrel. The Nasdaq Composite gained 40 points, or 1.8%, to 2,295.

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