Stocks were in rally mode today. Mike Hunter has your stock market report on the Acadiana Business Index.

  • The Dow closed up 244 points to 13292. The NASDAQ traded near a 12-year high, advancing 66 points to 3135 and the S&P 500 Index touched its highest level since May 2008 as it gained 28 points to 1432.
  • Reduced euro zone debt concerns and a batch of encouraging economic data helped push markets higher. In Europe, the ECB agreed to an unlimited bond-purchase program to promote growth and help struggling euro area countries regain control of their borrowing costs.
  • On the data front, jobless claims unexpectedly fell by 12,000 to the lowest level in a month at 365,000 and the ADP report showed private businesses added the most workers in five months.
  • The ISM’s non-manufacturing index was also positive with the index advancing to a three-month high.
  • As investors turned to riskier assets, all sectors were higher led by financials with Bank of America up 40 cents to $8.35. Materials also helped pace gains with Alcoa higher by 24 cents to $8.76.
  • Attention now turns to Friday’s all-important nonfarm payrolls report with analysts expecting the rate of hiring to slow in August and the unemployment rate to remain above 8% for the 43rd consecutive month.
  • Overall, NYSE Composite volume totaled over 3.9 billion shares. The NYSE was 4-1 positive on issues and 13-1 positive on volume.
  • Advancers beat decliners on the NASDAQ by 4-1 on issues and by 8-1 on volume.
  • In fixed-income, Treasuries fell with the 10-year note down 22/32 to yield 1.67% and the 30-year bond lost nearly a full point and a half to yield 2.79%.

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