Stocks stage closing rally to finish up at end of wild day
UPDATED at 4:08 p.m.:
Stocks staged a big rally to finish out a wild ride that began with a massive drop as the Dow dipped below 10,000 followed by a defiant rally.
The Dow closed up 1.3 percent at 10,194.97. The Dow was down as much as 139 points today. For the week, the Dow swung in an 850-point range. The Dow closed down 4 percent this week and is down 7.4 percent so far this month.
The broader S&P 500 closed up 1.5 percent at 1,087.74. It looks like the lower resistance level for the S&P is about 1,060.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed up 1.1 percent at 2,229.04.
The markets swung in a 278-point range today in heavy volume. Today's buying follows what traders call over-selling. Financials helped lead today's unusual rally.
If this week was all about the U.S. market reaction to the chaos in Europe, next week should be a reaction to a lot of economic data scheduled for release.
The volatility index (VIX), otherwise known as the "fear index," settled down a little today from a ramp up all week.
Stocks struggle to hold gains
2:50 p.m.: After a wild ride, stocks are struggling to hold onto their gains as a big rally tapers off toward the last hour of trading of the week.
With about an hour to go on the day, the Dow has flirting with the flat line, trading back and forth between positive and negative territory.
The broader S&P 500 is up two-tenths of 1 percent.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq is up two-tenths of 1 percent.
The euro is making some slight gains against the dollar and oil is down, just under $70 per barrel.
Stocks stage defiant rally
Noon: Stocks have now turned strongly positive on a trading day that has been a wild roller-coaster ride until mid-day.
As of noon, the Dow is up 1 percent. The Dow is being led by financials. The Dow was down 149 points.
The broader S&P 500 is 1.4 percent.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq is up 1.5 percent.
The best word for this rally is "defiant." Markets plunged at opening, then rose, then dropped again into negative territory before seeming -- at least for now -- to become resolute and buy higher.
This rally flies in the face of global headwinds -- the German parliament approved that country's piece of the $1 trillion euro bailout, Thailand is still reeling from a revolt and Washington is moving toward the most new regulations on Wall Street since the Great Depression.
Stocks in roller-coaster ride
10:32 a.m.: Only an hour into the trading day and already it's a roller-coaster ride on Wall Street.
Stocks plunged at opening then turned around sharply, climbing into positive territory. Now, they've crested, and are heading back into negative territory.
The Dow is down half of 1 percent.
The broader S&P 500 is down two-tenths of 1 percent.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq is down three-tenths of 1 percent.
Financials are up, following the Senate's passage of the new financial regulation bill. Wall Street likes certainty and Wall Street feels like it dodged a bullet, or will, once the bill clears conference, CNBC's John Harwood reported this morning.
It's not surprising to see a big snapback rally after a large sell-off day, like we saw this morning. The harder part is keeping the rally going throughout the day and we'll see if this one has any spine to it.
Stocks execute breathtaking u-turn
9:58 a.m.: The markets have executed a breathtaking u-turn right after opening, fighting back against headwinds from around the globe.
Stocks dove sharply at opening, following yesterday's massive sell-off and continued problems in the European markets today.
But moments after opening -- whip! -- markets caught themselves and began shooting upward.
Just less than 30 minutes into the trading day, the Dow has turned positive after diving below 10,000 at the opening bell.
The broader S&P 500 has moved into positive territory following a dive at start.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq is up two-tenths of 1 percent.
Futures point to lower opening
8:56 a.m.: Things don't look good for the opening of the U.S. stock market today, following yesterday's big sell-off.
Futures, a predictor of how stocks may do at opening, are near the levels they hit after the May 6 flash crash.
Wall Street often follows Europe -- especially when it looks like Europe is aflame, like now -- and European markets are down in mid-day trading there.
The London's FTSE is down 2 percent, Germany's DAX is down 2.6 percent and France's CAC 40 is down 1.9 percent.
In Germany this morning, lawmakers approved their portion of the $1 trillion European bailout.
Here is the U.S., lawmakers approved the sweeping financial regulatory reform bill yesterday.
Today is also the day before May stock options expire on Wall Street, and that usually adds to volatility and often a sell-off.
The Associated Press says:
Corrections can be scary but they can be good for markets. Analysts say major stock indexes had become overheated in their climb from a 12-year low in March 2009. Corrections also aren't unusual. Drops of 10 percent occur in most years and don't necessarily that stocks will keep sliding.
"We don't think there is any predictability that just because we've had a 10 percent correction now that suddenly we're in for another 10 percent drop," said Bill Urban, principal with Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough, based in San Francisco.
The euro is ticking up against the dollar today.
May 21, 2010; 4:08 PM ET
Categories: Wall Street
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