Top 3 Reasons Markets were Up on Earnings

Markets closed up on Wall Street: DJI +0.53% SP500 +057% Nasdaq +035% Gold +0.15% Oil +0.96%.

Markets made a comeback today following yesterday’s Wall Street-shattering downgrade of the US Credit Rating Outlook. Markets didn’t get off to a good start, but they rallied in the afternoon to finish in the green. On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) made up for some of yesterday’s rare pullback. Gold (NYSE:GLD) and Silver (NYSE:SLV) continued to rise as investors are now fretting whether the US will receive a full downgrade.

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Today’s markets were up because:

1) Housing starts and permits did a 180 from last month. Although housing (NYSE:IYR) is clearly still a major wound in the US economy, housing starts and permits jumped double-digits in March. Home Builders (NYSE:XHB) continued to find investor interest after defying the data yesterday. Check Out “These Home Building Stocks are Up Big in a Down Market“.

2) Earnings brought happiness back to Wall Street. This is our first serious coverage of earnings season here at Wall St. Cheat Sheet, and today was full of many more positive announcements than we would’ve thought. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) started getting over some of the issues plaguing the company, bank stocks such as Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) came in strong, and now after-hours tech (NASDAQ:QQQ) is catching up with beats from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), and IBM (NYSE:IBM). Tomorrow is going to be interesting!

3) Tim Geithner hit the pavement to protect the US Credit Rating. Although talk is meaningless, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner hit Fox Business Network and Bloomberg to send out the word he would not let the US Credit Rating fall. Not to worry, Timmy: investors still haven’t given up on Treasuries as Wall St. Cheat Sheet expert contributor Doug Short shows in these awesome charts.

Now that you’re in the know, enjoy the NBA playoffs!