Stocks rallied sharply on Wednesday’s session. Ken Meyers has your stock market report on the Acadiana Business Index.

  • The Dow climbed to a new five year high, gaining 175 points to 14075. The S&P 500 advanced 19 points to 1515. The NASDAQ finished up 33 points, closing at 3162.
  • The major averages advanced for a second day bolstered by positive economic data. Durable goods orders, excluding transportation, increased 1.9% in January, the most since December 2011. A separate report showed pending home sales unexpectedly grew 4.5%, well above the consensus projection for a 1.9% increase.
  • Comments from Fed Chairman Bernanke also provided a tailwind to the market. In his second day of testimony before Congress, Bernanke reiterated support for the central bank’s bond buying program.
  • All 10 sectors of the S&P 500 finished in positive territory led by materials and industrials. Dow Chemical gained 3.0% to $31.81. Joy Global advanced 5.8% to $63.45 after the mining equipment maker’s quarterly results topped analyst projections. Retailer Dollar Tree was the best performing stock in the S&P 500, surging 10.5% to $45.39, following its positive earnings report. Target fell 1.5% to $63.12 amid disappointment in the company’s holiday sales. Apple closed 1.0% lower at $444.57 following its shareholder meeting.
  • Breadth was positive on issues by 13-4 on the NYSE and 2-1 on the NASDAQ. Composite volume on the NYSE totaled 3.5 billion shares. Treasuries declined with the 10-year note down 5/32 to yield 1.90%.

For the complete report, click Ken's Market Report.