Markets closed up on Wall Street today: Dow +0.62%, S&P +0.69%, Nasdaq +0.87%, Oil +1.46%, Gold +0.78%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) rose to $106.23 a barrel. Precious metals were also up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing to $1,684.20 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) rose 1.93% to settle at $33.42.
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Today’s markets were up because:
1) Jobs. A labor market report signaling that private sector hiring picked up last month bolstered sentiment, helping stocks recover from the biggest one-day sell-off of 2012. Payrolls processor ADP (NASDAQ:ADP) reported that private employers added 216,000 jobs last month, topping economists’ expectations for a 208,000 gain. ADP’s figures in January fell far short of what the U.S. Department of Labor later reported, which has investors eagerly awaiting the official report, which tracks both public and private sector hiring, later this week.
2) Greece. Gains were modest as investors waited to see what the deal between Greece and its private creditors would look like. So far, investors holding 58 percent of all Greek bonds eligible for the nation’s debt swap have agreed to participate. Greece’s largest banks, most of the country’s pension funds, and more than 30 European banks and insurers have indicated they’ll take part, all but guaranteeing the country will successfully pull off the biggest sovereign restructuring in history. However, Greece wants at least 75 percent participation, and is hoping for more than 90 percent. The government has warned it may force bondholders into the swap, but doing so would likely trigger insurance contracts on the debt, known as credit default swaps, according to analysts.
3) Apple. Today was certainly a big day for the tech giant, which previewed a new and greatly improved iPad that will go on sale March 16. However, you wouldn’t know it by looking at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares, which closed the day up just 0.33 percent. The stock was flat most of the day, but in the green in anticipation of the new iPad. But while the device came with all the features that had been expected, and then some, shares tanked after the announcement, which came at around 1:30 p.m. New York time. Bottoming at $524.79 at around 3:10 p.m., shares quickly returned to close the day at $531.99.
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