Stocks advanced Monday as prospects for a resolution to the Greek debt crisis somewhat brightened and AIG agreeing to sell its Asian business to UK insurer Prudential.
The Dow and S&P 500 turned in their best monthly performance since November 2009, while the NASDAQ turned in its best monthly gain since December 2009.
The Dow dropped more than 150 points, or about 1.5 percent, after a report showed jobless claims surged last week. Coca-Cola was one of the biggest drags on the Dow following news it plans to buy its bottler. And Palm fell more than 20 percent at the open after the gadget maker slashed its revenue forecast.
Stocks opened lower Tuesday after an unexpected drop in German business confidence but the Dow soon rebounded, led by Home Depot after the company's earnings beat.
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U.S. stocks posted their best weekly gain since November 6, 2009, led to the upside by the S&P 500 index, rising 3.13%. Industrial and material stocks were among the best performers this week.
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The worst performing stocks in the S&P 500 during the most recent pullback have reversed their downtrend, outperforming the gains in the overall index by nearly 5% in the past five trading sessions.
Stocks opened higher Wednesday after Deere blew past earnings expectations and a report showed a rebound in housing starts.
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U.S. stocks snapped four weeks of consecutive losses, led to the upside by the NASDAQ Composite, posting a gain of 1.98%. This week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed below the 10,000-mark, its lowest close since November 4, 2009.
Stocks fell sharply Friday as world markets were rattled over China's decision to tighten capital requirements for banks. The Dow was down more than 100 points, or over 1 percent, in the first few minutes of trading.
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Stocks rallied off a lower open Thursday as news of a Greek bailout and a sharp drop in jobless claims helped calm jittery investors — and put them in the mood to take some risks. Energy and industrials were the day's best performers; Financials were the worst.
The Dow surged more than 100 points on Thursday cheered by word that European leaders had sealed a deal to provide financial aid to Greece.
Stocks struggled — and lost — Wednesday as traders mulled a possible bailout of Greece and the Fed's exit strategy after comments from Bernanke.
Beyond the fact that the U.S. stock market — off 7 percent from its 2010 high — is banking on the rescue of a country the size of Alabama, traders have their doubts this Greek bailout is the godsend we need.
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Stocks closed broadly higher on optimism that help was on the way for Greece to deal with its heavy debt burden.