All major US stock exchanges closed today at with encouraging gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed today up 69.48 points bringing its total index to 12161.63. According to the Wall Street Journal, this represents its highest index since June 16, 2008. Additionally, the Nasdaq closed at 2783.99, which is its highest index since November 6, 2007 according to the same article. Largely due to the help of its financial sector, stocks affiliated with insurance companies such as Loews and American Financial Group boosted the S&P 500 by 8.18 points to its highest index since 2008.
On the Dow, the financial sector is looking strong with major banks such as Bank of America, American Express, and JP Morgan all posting at least a 2 percent gain. Investors have been paying close attention to the turmoil in the Middle East and particularly Egypt, because the volatility has bred uncertainty. Fortunately, a relative state of stability has been established as opposition parties met with the Mubarak administration.
Other positive signs from the bio-medical and pharmaceutical sector have heightened anticipation of investors. The reputed mergers between Beckman Coulter and Danaher boosted stock prices by nearly 10%. The pharmaceutical merger between Genzyme and Sanofi is expected to take place this week. In oil markets, Houston-based Pride International and London-based Encso are reputed to have formed a $7.3 billion merger making them the second biggest offshore drilling company.
In Forex markets, the Dollar fell slightly against the Euro, but rose slightly against the Yen. This could be an effect of President Obama’s speech to the Chamber of Commerce, which was the object of much criticism as he dodged answering tough questions about the direction to proceed with the financial regulatory overhaul and the universal health care law. Instead, his speech focused primarily on education and research investment as means of growing the economy. Despite this, the direction of the stock market is projected to continue trend upwards and investors are becoming much more bullish.
The views expressed are the subjective opinion of the article's author and not of FinancialAdvisory.com