European Union officials announced today that Greece will get the bailout money necessary to stave off a default, but warned there is still plenty of European economic work left, presumably the topic of conversation at Sunday's major, European summit. Investors also were cheered by news unemployment is down in half of U.S.'s states. Together, those two factors sent U.S. investors off to the weekend on an upbeat note.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 2.31 percent, or 267.01 points, to 11,808.79; the Nasdaq was up 1.49 percent, or 28.84 points, to 2,637.46; the Standard & Poor's 500 was up 1.80 percent, or 22.84 points, to 1,238.23; the NYSE composite was up 1.71 percent, or 124.44 points, to 7,399.09; and the AMEX composite was up 2.25 percent, or 48.62 points, to 2,212.91.
Hot Stocks of the Day
General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE) met EPS expectations with third quarter results released today, but got pinched by weakening margins. Shares were down 1.68 percent, or $0.28, to $16.36.
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT) was up slightly the day after posting strong Q3 results. Results were released after the close yesterday. Today, shares were up 0.30 percent, or $0.08, to $27.12.
McDonalds Corp. (NYSE:MCD) beat EPS and revenue estimates with a stellar Q3 report. Shares were up 3.80 percent, or $3.38, to $92.40.
Verizon Communications Corp. (NYSE:VZ) missed its Q3 EPS target, but ended up 0.94 percent, or $0.35, to $37.44.
Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) was down 0.15 percent, or $0.01, to $6.46. It was one of the day's most-actively traded stocks.
Commodities and Currencies
Oil was up 1.58 percent, or $1.36, to $87.43 per barrel. Gold was up 2.45 percent, or $40.10, to $1,652.00 per ounce.
The euro gained 0.0121 against the U.S. dollar to 1.3896. The dollar lost 0.7380 against the Japanese yen to 76.1050. The British pound gained 0.0171 against the dollar to 1.5960.
Europe, predictably, was happy, while Asia was mixed.
Britain's FTSE was up 1.93 percent, or 103.97 points, to 5,488.65; Germany's DAX was up 3.55 percent, or 204.48 points, to 5,970.96; and France's CAC 40 was up 2.83 percent, or 87.27 points, to 3,171.34.
Japan's Nikkei was down 0.04 percent, or 3.26 points, to 8,678.89; Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.24 percent, or 42.62 points, to 18,025.72; Singapore's Straits Times was up 0.68 percent, or 18.40 points, to 2,712.41; India's BSE 30 was down 0.89 percent, or 151.24 points, to 16,785.64; and China's Shanghai Composite was down 0.60 percent, or 14.09 points, to 2,317.28.
The music and video store industry was the day's top performer, up 4.88 percent. Hastings Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq:HAST) was up 4.90 percent, or $0.09, to $1.97.
The resorts and casino industry was the day's worst performer, down 1.07 percent. Wynn Resorts Ltd. (Nasdaq:WYNN) was down 2.71 percent, or $3.33, to $20.04.
Best and Worst
Pure Cycle Corp. (Nasdaq:PCYO) was the day's best percentage performer, up 33.16 percent, or $0.62, to $2.49, though there was no new news to report about the company.
Acme Packets Inc. (Nasdaq:APKT) told investors profits fell 25 percent in Q3. Investors sent Acme down 20.64 percent, or $7.86, to $30.27, making it the worst percentage performer of the day.