April 14th, 2010
07:18 PM ET

Stocks soar to major milestones

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

Stocks rally

Stocks rallied Wednesday, with the Standard & Poor's 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes crossing significant milestones for the first time in more than a year and a-half, after quarterly results from JPMorgan Chase and Intel and strong retail sales figures.

The Dow Jones industrial average surged 104 points, or 0.9 percent, to end at 11,123.11, the highest level since September 2008. Financial and tech shares led the advance.

The S&P 500 index gained 13 points, or 1.1 percent, to close at 1,210.65, marking the first time the index has closed above the 1,200 mark in almost 19 months.

The Nasdaq composite added 39 points, or 1.6 percent, to end at 2,504.86. It was the first time since June 2008 that the index has ended above 2,500.

Year-to-date, the Dow is up 6.7 percent, the S&P has gained 8.6 percent and the Nasdaq has soared 10.4 percent as of Wednesday's close.

The S&P is up 77 percent from its March 9, 2009 low. However, the index remains 23.5 percent below the record high set October 9, 2007.

Oil prices spike 2 percent on stronger demand

Oil prices rose for the first time in more than a week Wednesday after a government report showing a decline in crude oil supplies fueled hopes that demand may finally be catching up to the economic recovery.

What prices are doing: Crude prices for May delivery soared $1.90, or 2.2 percent, to settle at $85.95 a barrel.

Prices had declined over the past five trading sessions amid concerns about weak global demand and oversupply.

What's moving the market: Oil prices were pushed higher by the first decline in crude supplies in 10 weeks, as well as by positive economic data.

Dollar extends losses after Bernanke testimony

The dollar extended losses Wednesday as investors responded to reports on retail sales and inflation, and comments from the Federal Reserve.

What prices are doing: The dollar slid 0.3 percent versus the euro to $1.3654 and dropped 0.6 percent against the U.K. pound to $1.5448. The dollar remained flat versus the Japanese yen at ¥93.20.

What's moving the market: Retail sales rose more than expected in March, while consumer prices remain tame, according to government reports.

Treasurys fall as stocks hit highs

Treasurys fell late Wednesday after a raft of upbeat data pushed stock indexes to new milestones, turning investors away from safe-haven bonds.

What prices are doing: In late trading, the benchmark 10-year note fell 11/32 to 98-11/32, driving the yield up to 3.87 percent.  

Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The 30-year bond fell 26/32 to 98-10/32, and its yield rose to 4.73 percent. The 2-year note was flat at 99-29/32 with a 1.06 percent yield.

What's moving the market:  Wednesday was a big day for Wall Street, as investors digested upbeat data including the latest first-quarter earnings reports, the Consumer Price Index, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book and economic reports about retail sales and business inventories.

CNNMoney.com reporters Annalyn Censky, Ben Rooney, Chavon Sutton and Julianne Pepitone contributed to this report.

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