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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Stocks shake off early blues, stage strong rally

UPDATED at 2 p.m.

Stocks shook off a slow opening but have since rocketed to a strong day on all major indexes.

As of 2 p.m., the Dow is up 1 percent.

The broader S&P 500 is up 1 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq is up 1.4 percent.

The rally isn't based on the EU bailout of Greece -- because it's not really a bailout yet. The EU said it could help Greece, but Greece hasn't asked for money. So that's got no impact. Instead, it looks more like today's action is coming from currency and commodity trading.

It may also be partially attributable to this morning's better-than-expected news on new jobless claims. But the markets don't really think the underlying economy is as strong as the White House says it is.

Stocks down at opening

9:54 a.m.: Stocks are down at opening, despite hopeful news on unemployment in the U.S. and reports that Europe has reached a deal to save Greece.

In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is down half of 1 percent.

The broader S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq are both down nearly six-tenths of 1 percent.

New jobless claims filed last week dropped unexpectedly by 43,000 to 440,000, the lowest total in a month.

In Europe, leaders of the 16-nation European Union struck a deal to provide aid to Greece in an effort to prevent that country's debt problems from dragging down the entire continent.

Follow me on Twitter at @theticker

By Frank Ahrens  |  February 11, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker , Wall Street  | Tags: Dow Jones, Greece, jobless claims, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Comments

losing 43000 less jobs when we still lost 440000 jobs is not good news...
and why not be honest, how many millions are out of work...
and how many more will be losing their jobs...
the economy contracted and has left over 30 million out of work...
and obama has done nothing to help them...

Posted by: DwightCollins | February 11, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I would like some of the critics who are always criticizing the Obama administration just once put forth some ideas about solving the problem--He doesn't have a magic wand.
We were on the edge ,according to all economists of any stripe, a very severe depression and now we are away from that edge--and gaining ground on the jobs numbers. And Warren Buffett praised him for the job he did on this front, though more work needs to be done. If Obama had tried to hand out government jobs, you would have criticized him for that--let's face it, you would have criticized him for anything he did. As to people being hired by corporations has anyone other than me considered that the corporations who were allowed to do whatever they pleased during the Bush years, would like to keep it that way, so they will not help with the economy by hiring people. If you think that corporate America is on the side of the average American worker, I have some ocean front land in Iowa to sell you. They certainly had no qualms about sending American workers jobs overseas where they work for a bowl of rice a day. As to the bailouts and Tarp so many complain about, it was economic chemotherapy. The country was on the brink of an economic disaster--read Paulson's new book. It's like the Dr. tells you you have cancer and you have to have expensive chemo which you really can't afford--Would you say, No, I can't afford it, or borrow the money. The national debt was over a trillion when Obama took over, and he had to deliver economic chemotherapy to save the patient. Why didn't the Republicans who had control of the house and Senate complain about the debit during the Bush years, when we went from a surplus said by the CBO (quoted often now by the Republicans_ to last through 2012, from this surplus to a trillion in debt at the end--with no complaint from the Republicans about deficit spending--and they are doing their utmost like little kids saying He did it, Mommy, not me, not me.

Posted by: jeand1 | February 11, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

jeand1: Amen, could not have said it better!

Posted by: wornomsf | February 11, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

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