Markets closed up on Wall Street: Dow +0.91%, S&P +0.92%, Nasdaq +1.33%, Oil -0.33%, Gold -1.32%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) continued to drop, down now to $90.86 a barrel. Precious metals were also down today, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) closing at $1,497.10, a five-week low for the commodity, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) closing down 3.28% to $33.52.
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Today’s markets were up because:
1) France steps up. As Greek politicians meet in Athens to discuss the austerity measures to be voted upon Wednesday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy says that his government is working with private lenders on a new, long-term rescue plan. France’s plan to rollover Greek debt held by French investors would make Greek default much less likely.
2) Tech rallies. Advances in both the S&P and the Dow were led by the technology sector, with tech stocks like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) leading the way with gains of 3.70% and 4.52% respectively. Even Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) managed to make some gains today, up 0.80%.
3) Lower gas prices. There’s almost no better indicator or instigator of market gains than lower gas prices. They seem to temporarily put Americans at ease, give them faith in economic recovery, and just generally put them in a better mood. As crude futures continue to decrease, so have consumer gas prices, with the average cost of a gallon of gas down to $3.57 today from $3.65 last week and $3.80 last month.
Bonus: Winning in the Stock Market.
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