Markets closed up today on Wall Street, ending a five-day slide: S&P: +0.96%, Nasdaq: +1.39%, Dow: +0.54%, Oil: +2.36%, Gold: +1.50%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSEARCA:USO) rose to $92.10 a barrel. Precious metals were up with Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) climbing to $1,779.90 per ounce, and Silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) climbing 2.24% to $34.70 per ounce.
Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:
According to a report in the electronics publication Digitimes, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) plans to compete with the rumored Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad mini in the form of a cheaper, thinner version of the Nexus 7. The original Google device has gained market share over both Apple and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) since its release in mid-July. According to data compiled by analytics firm Chitika, the Google Nexus accounts for 68.5 percent of tablet Web traffic in the United States and Canada.
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Thursday morning, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and one of its former investment bankers with giving undisclosed campaign contributions to then-Massachusetts state treasurer Timothy P. Cahill during his bid for governor. The SEC said the alleged infringement was a “pay-to-play” violation, which, according to the regulator’s press release involves, “campaign contributions or other payments made in an attempt to influence the awarding of lucrative public contracts for securities underwriting business.”
On Thursday, the European Commission released a statement detailing a new strategy for “unleashing the potential of cloud computing in Europe.” By 2020, the plan is expected to create 2.5 million jobs, and boost European GDP by 1 percent annually. Among those U.S. companies that could benefit from European cloud computing needs are: Amazon, Apple, Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), Google, IBM (NYSE:IBM), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL).
Wednesday’s positive housing and consumer confidence numbers are followed on Thursday by low economic growth indicators. The United States Commerce Department revised the annual growth of real GDP in the second quarter of 2012 down to 1.3 percent from 1.7 percent reported in August. According to the Department of Labor, the four-week moving average for jobless benefits claims dropped to 374,000.