Markets closed up on Wall Street: DJI +0.63% SP500 +0.74% Nasdaq +0.35% Gold +0.46% Oil +1.08%.
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Today’s markets were up because:
1) Economic Indicators. This morning data from the Federal Reserve showed the trade deficit is narrowing. That got markets off to a good start. The positive news was followed up by better than expected wholesale inventory reports and significant decreases in consumer debt. Not all good news on the macro-economic front though as initial jobless claims were slightly worse than expected and the Fed reported a missing $6.6 trillion dollars in consumer wealth since 2007.
2) Mining and Agriculture led the way. In spite of reports that corn (NYSE:CORN) reserves are at the lowest levels since the 1970s, Mining and Agriculture (NYSE:RJA) stocks largely out-performed the market today. A report from PriceWaterHouseCoopers indicating revenues in mining companies are shooting “through the roof” sparked the bulls in the sector, and stocks such as Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) and Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) posted big daily returns.
3) The Financial Sector took a breather. Bruised and battered financials (NYSE:XLF) finally took a day off from losses, with the sector also out-performing the market on the day. Bank (NYSE:KBE) stocks were up across the board in spite of new pending lawsuits for Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and Goldman-Sachs (NYSE:GS), and a hacker-assault on Citigroup (NYSE:C) that compromised information of over 200,000 customers. Income from banks’ debit card transaction fees is also set to take a big hit when the Dodd-Frank reforms go into effect next month, but analysts believe those estimates have already worked their way into pricing.