Saturday, August 4, 2012

U.S. Stocks Reverse Early Losses to Fourth Weekly Gains – LNKD, KGC, MET, AAPL

Upbeat U.S. jobs data provided the one sweet spot for investors in a week, which otherwise had very little optimistic news as both the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank failed to deliver on the hoes they had built up in the previous week to act strongly to revive global economies.

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The markets ended with a fourth straight weekly rise marking the longest rally for the Dow Jones Industrial Average(INDEXDJX:.DJI) since October last year. The index rose 20.51 points or 0.2 percent to end the week at 13,096.17, its highest level since May 3.  The benchmark S&P 500 gained 0.4 percent in the week to 1,390.99, and has gained 11 percent so far this year.

NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) added 0.33% to close the week at 2,967.90 .The gains in the index were largely led by heavy-weight technology companies. For instance Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) rose 5.2 percent, on expectations that the stock may be included in the Dow index and its impending stock split and First Solar was up 18 percent on its earnings.

Among financials Metlife Inc(NYSE:MET) gained 9 percent though Knight Capital Group Inc.(NYSE:KCG) plunged 61 percent on freak trades due to a technical snag in its trading software.

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On Friday the world's largest economy said it had added 163,000 jobs in July, beating analyst estimates and this acted as trigger on the markets with the S&P 500 reversing its losses sustained during the week to jump 1.9 percent on the final trading day of the week.

Despite the high unemployment rate at 8.3 percent, the addition of new jobs is welcome news for an economy which has been in the prolonged slump since 2008, when the financial crisis broke.

Germany's Angela Merkel also made all the right noises when she said that her coalition party would not obstruct ECB President Mario Draghi's bond auction plan designed to give deb- ridden economies such as Italy and Spain some relief.

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