Market Recap: Stocks Rally as U.S. Economic Data Overshadows Sovereign Debt Crisis

Markets closed up on Wall Street today: Dow +0.14%, S&P +0.48%, Nasdaq +1.09%, Oil +1.31%, Gold +0.19%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed to $99.43 a barrel. Precious metals were also up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing to $1,781.80 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) rose 1.58% to settle at $34.56.

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Today’s markets were up because:

1) Europe. Stocks opened lower today as bonds yields in Europe climbed. While Italian bond yields have been climbing, reaching a euro-era record last week, it was the news that yields in neighboring Spain and France were also on the rise that worried investors today. Yields on Spain’s 10-year bond have climbed to about 6.3%, and France’s bond yields are now around 3.67%.

2) U.S. Markets gained ground in the afternoon as positive economic data in the U.S. temporarily overshadowed the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. Retail sales rose 0.5% in October, beating expectations, while the New York manufacturing index unexpectedly returned to positive territory after five months in the red, and producer prices declined 0.3% in October following a 0.8% rise in September.

3) Nasdaq. The tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed the S&P 500 and the Dow today as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), and Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ:CY) climbed higher. Berkshire Hathaway’s recent 13-F filing showed it had purchased Intel, while Cypress is riding the Halo effect of Buffet’s buy. Apple shares rebounded from losses last week as suppliers for its new “15-inch ultra-thin notebook model” started shipping components.

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