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5/26/09 16:30 ET Dow +196.17 at 8473.49, Nasdaq +58.42 at 1750.43, S&P +23.33 at 910.33:
[BRIEFING.COM] Better-than-expected consumer confidence data gave participants some anecdotal evidence that economic conditions may be improving, which brought about broad-based gains for the major indices.
Given the lack of news in the early going, the broader market looked to the May Consumer Confidence Index for guidance. With the May reading coming in at a better-than-expected 54.9, up from the prior reading of 40.8, buying immediately followed and helped stocks overcome a lackluster start.
Retailers responded to the increase in the consumer confidence by advancing 4.0%, though higher consumer confidence has yet translate into higher consumer spending.
Along with strength in retailers, General Motors (GM 1.44, +0.01) helped the consumer discretionary sector climb 3.8%. GM recovered from a loss in excess of 10% after The Wall Street Journal reported that the United Auto Workers union said the government will provide massive additional financial assistance to GM.
Meanwhile large-cap tech stocks like Apple (AAPL 130.78, +8.28), which was upgraded by analysts at Morgan Stanley, helped give the Nasdaq its best percentage advance since early April.
Not to be outdone, financials finished 4.1% higher. Though that was more than any other major sector in the S&P 500, gains were still impressive across the board -- every major sector finished with a gain in excess of 1%.
Strength in stocks forced further selling in fixed income securities. The 10-year Treasury Note dropped roughly 23 ticks, which has pushed its yield to a fresh 2009 high of 3.54%.
Nasdaq +58.42 at 1750.43... NYSE Adv/Dec 2531/518... Nasdaq Adv/Dec 2106/614.
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