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July 30, 2009 -- 16:10 ET Dow +83.74 at 9154.46, Nasdaq +16.54 at 1984.30, S&P +11.45 at 986.60:
Moving the Market:
Participants continue to digest earnings, which have generally been better than expected. Initial jobless claims rise more than expected, but four-week moving average falls again; continuing claims retreat to levels not seen since April.
health care suppliers; industrial conglomerates; casinos and gaming; diversified chemicals; building products; multiline insurers; industrial REITs; health care facilities
diversified suppliers; photo products; office services and suppliers; wireless services; specialty consumer services
07/30/09 16:10 ET Dow +83.74 at 9154.46, Nasdaq +16.54 at 1984.30, S&P +11.45 at 986.60:
[BRIEFING.COM] Better-than-expected earnings and a lack of negative headlines fueled strong gains that were supported by broad-based buying and short covering. Though stocks surrendered a chunk of their gains late in the session, they still registered new closing highs for 2009.
A positive tone governed action for the entire session, due largely to a flood of upside earnings surprises from an array of industry players. What's more, the gains that followed came in the face of ongoing calls for a pullback from market pundits, which has encouraged short sellers to bet that the stock market's recent run will falter. However, stocks continue to be supported by those looking to put idle money into play.
Though the benchmark index was unable to cross the psychologically significant 1000 mark, the Nasdaq broke above 2000 for the first time since early October. Both indices finished off of their session highs, but they still managed to close at their best levels of the year.
All 10 major sectors in the S&P 500 logged gains, which ranged from energy's 0.1% gain to the materials sector's 3.0% gain.
Dow Chemical (DOW 21.51, +1.24) provided leadership to the materials sector. The company reported better-than-expected earnings for its latest quarter.
Materials stocks were also supported by higher commodity prices, though. A sharp rise in commodities gave the CRB Commodity Index a 3.9% gain, which is its best single-session percentage gain since March.
Oil was a primary driver behind the CRB's advance. Oil prices rebounded 5.8% to settle at $67.00 per barrel after dropping nearly 6% in the previous session.
Higher oil prices and positive earnings surprises from Noble (NBL 59.93, +3.27) and Apache (APA 82.29, +4.37) helped garner support for the energy sector as Exxon Mobil (XOM 70.64, -0.79) faltered after missing the consensus earnings estimate.
Some of the best gains this session came from within the financial sector, which finished almost 2.7% higher. Multiline insurers along with life and health insurers spiked a respective 5.2% and 4.6% after Hartford (HIG 16.98, +2.02), Lincoln National (LNC 20.34, +2.29), and Aflac (AFL 37.81, +2.36) reported pleasing quarterly results.
Visa (V 67.05, +0.27) and MasterCard (MA 194.17, +5.62) both reported upside earnings results of their own and also provided support to the financial sector.
The session's upbeat tone was generally bolstered by news that the four-week moving average for initial jobless claims fell to its lowest level in months, even though weekly claims climbed more than expected. Continuing claims declined more than expected for another straight week. Continuing claims now stand at levels not seen since April, but many economists caution that the labor market remains far from good.
The advance second quarter GDP announcement is due tomorrow morning and will dominate financial headlines. The current consensus calls for an annualized decline of 1.5% following the 5.5% annualized decline registered in the first quarter. The report is due at 8:30 AM ET.
Nasdaq +16.54 at 1984.30... S&P Midcap 400 +1.3... NYSE Adv/Dec 2409/649... Nasdaq Adv/Dec 1810/822.
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Weekly & Daily Stock Earnings Calendar:
Amgen AMGN 7/27 4pm
United Steel X 7/28 8am
Under Armour UA 7/28 8am
Massey Energy MEE 7/28 4pm
Norfolk Southern NSC 7/28 4pm
Panera Bread PNRA 7/28 4pm
Aetna AET 7/29 8am
ConocoPhillips COP 7/29 8am
Sprint S 7/29 8am
Akamai Tech AKAM 7/29 4pm
Nutrisystem NTRI 7/29 4pm
Visa V 7/29 4pm
Expedia EXPE 7/30 8am
ExxonMobil XOM 7/30 8am
International Paper IP 7/30 8am
Level 3 Communications LVLT 7/30 8am
Mastercard MA 7/30 8am
Motorola MOT 7/30 8am
Walt Disney DIS 7/30 4pm
First Solar FSLR 7/30 4pm
Evergreen Solar ESLR 7/30 4pm
Chevron CVX 7/31 8am
Dryships DRYS 7/31 8am
Chesapeake Energy CHK 8/03 4pm
UBS UBS 8/04 8am
Electronic Arts ERTS 8/04 4pm
Devon Energy DVN 8/05 8am
Cisco Systems CSCO 8/05 4pm
Sirius XM Radio SIRI 8/06 8am