The blue chips jump 181 after reports on jobless claims and retail sales cheer investors. Friday brings reports on consumer confidence and options expirations.
The markets have had a tough 3 days, with the S&P 500 shedding close to 2% on the back of ongoing concerns about the pace of bond buying by global central banks.
After falling for three straight days, stocks need a reason to move up. A decent jobless claims report could help. So could a benign day for interest rates.
As the economy improves, investors will look beyond the defensive stocks that found favor earlier in the year.
The Dow sells at the open and ends down 117 as investors fret about Japan, interest rates and unrest in Turkey. Expect more ups and downs into next week at least.
Stocks generally are quiet the week after the monthly jobs report. But all the talk about the Fed and interest rates may still push stocks around.
The market rebounds after testing several key supports. But stocks face big challenges with Friday's big jobs report.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
3 stocks will be in the spotlight Thursday as investors try to make sense of the numbers from the sector.
The Market Dispatches column has been discontinued. Here's where to find the latest stock and business news on MSN Money, and the latest from market writer Charley Blaine.
MONEY & POLITICS
Breaking up big banks is an untested solution to the too big to fail problem that attempts to isolate and dismantle large, troubled institutions while protecting the rest of the economy.
Six weeks later, most Americans have forgotten about the 2014 tax season -- except those who didn't file by the April 15 deadline.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'