Markets closed up on Wall Street today: Dow +0.45%, S&P +0.1%, Nasdaq +0.29%, Oil -0.24%, Gold +1.06%.
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Today’s markets were up because:
1) EU speaks out against ratings agencies. After Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) downgraded Portugal yesterday, pushing up European bond yields and hurting markets, EU officials are speaking out against American ratings agencies they say don’t know enough about European affairs and are inherently biased. Officials are trying to downplay the ratings to minimize their impact on investor opinion, and say recent downgrades are only hurting their efforts to deal with debt issues.
2) ISM Non-Manufacturing Index. While the latest report on the non-manufacturing industry doesn’t show as much growth as May, dropping 1.3% in June, the index still remained above 50%, indicating that the sector is still expanding. This data, as well as jobs data being released Thursday and Friday, is distracting investor attention from negative reports like Chinese (NYSE:FXI) rate hikes and continuing Euro-debt issues. Markets even moved in contradiction to financial stocks (NYSE:XLF), which were significantly down today.
3) Last week’s gains. Last week was filled with positive news that had the markets up consistently for five straight days, including growth in the ISM Manufacturing Index, housing price data for April, Greece’s passing of new austerity measures and the EU introducing a plan for a second Greek aid package. Last week’s optimism carried through to this week as investors hope for the continued improvement of both Europe’s and the U.S.’s economic woes.
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