Dow up 245 as stocks hit multiyear highs

Hope for a resolution to Europe's debt crisis and decent US jobs data boost the Dow and S&P 500 to 4-year highs. The Nasdaq hits a 12-year top. Jobless claims fall, and ADP says private employers added 201,000 workers in August.

By Charley Blaine Sep 6, 2012 12:11PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 11:51 p.m. ET

Stocks closed at multiyear highs today after jobless claims fell more than expected and a measure of private-sector job growth was also stronger than expected.

Investors were also bullish after the European Central Bank announced its plans to start a government-bond buying program to support the finances of troubled countries, especially Spain, Italy and Portugal. European stocks were also sharply higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial  Average ($INDU) closed up 245 points to 13,292, its best close since Dec. 28, 2007. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) had its best close since Jan. 3, 2008, and the Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) had its best finish since Nov. 15, 2000.

Metals, energy and financial stocks were the market leaders. Such well-known stocks as (AMZN), Walt Disney (DIS), Costco Wholesale (COST), McCormick & Co. (MKC) and J.M. Smucker (SJM) hit all-time highs.

The Dow's close was just below its high of the day -- 13,294. The S&P 500 gained 29 points to 1,432. The point gains for the Dow and S&P 500 were their biggest since June 29. The Nasdaq gained 67 points to 3,136 in its largest gain since June 6. The Nasdaq-100 ($NDX) index was up 63 points to 2,830, its biggest gain since June 29 and its best finish since Dec. 12, 2000.

Article continues below.
Apple (AAPL), the biggest influence on the Nasdaq-100, was up $6.04 to $676.27, about $4.60 below its all-time high. The company is expected to unveil its iPhone 5 next week. was up $5.16 to $251.38 after introducing three new versions of its Kindle Fire tablet device today and an upgrade of the existing Kindle Fire tablet. The shares hit a new intraday high of $252.70.

With today's gains, the Dow is up 8.8% for the year, with the S&P 500 up 13.9% and the Nasdaq up 20.4%.

Futures trading suggests a flat open for stocks on Friday, but the Labor Department's payroll and unemployment report, due at 8:30 a.m., could quickly move markets.

Crude jumps, then falls back; gold tops $1,700
Meanwhile, crude oil (-CL) traded above $97 a barrel for several hours in New York before settling at $95.53 a barrel. Brent crude was at $113.10 this afternoon, up a penny from Wednesday.

The national average for regular unleaded gasoline fell to $3.823 a gallon from Wednesday's $3.824, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

Gold (-GC) settled at $1,705.60 an ounce, its first close above $1,700 since early March. Gold is up 6.3% this quarter and 8.9% for the year. Silver was up 34.5 cents to $32.674 an ounce. It's up 18.3% for the quarter and 17.1% for the year.

The market's gains and the decent jobs data will give President Obama ammunition when he speaks tonight at the Democratic National Convention. Republicans have been arguing the administration's economic policies have failed.

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Surprisingly good jobs data
Stocks were surging in pre-market trading even before the ECB announced its bond-buying program. That's because jobless claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 365,000, a decline of 12,000.

At the same time, the ADP National Employment Report said private employers created 201,000 jobs in August, and it revised its July job-growth estimate from 163,000 to 173,000.

The ADP report increased investor confidence that Friday's jobs report will show at least 163,000 new jobs created in August.

Nomura Securities expects a net gain of 111,000 jobs, with the unemployment rate holding at 8.3%.

If the report is better than expected, that will reduce the odds the Federal Reserve will start a new stimulus program. the Fed's Federal Open Market Committee, its policy-setting  body, meets Wednesday and Thursday. 

Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index for August rose slightly to 53.7 from 52.6 a year ago and better than the Street expectation of 53. The index was powered by growing demand for labor and price increases.

What the ECB hopes to accomplish
The ECB plan is designed to support the debt markets of fiscally challenged countries and ensure that their banks have enough access to its credit lines.

ECB President Mario Draghi told a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, that the measures will provide "a fully effective backstop" against market volatility. The key piece of the program is that the ECB will buy government bonds in the open market.

The plan was greeted with cheer in European markets. German and French stocks were up about 3% on the day. British stocks rose more than 2%. The Spanish 10-year government-bond yield fell to 6.03% today. It had been as high as 7.5% on July 23. Italy's 10-year bond yield was at 5.286%, down from 5.514% on Wednesday. It had reached 7.11% in November.

But the Draghi plan already has a powerful opponent: Jens Weidmann, president of Germany's Bundesbank, doesn't think the ECB should be buying government bonds.

And Germany's Constitutional Court will rule on whether Germany can participate in the plan on Sept. 12.

A broad rally -- but light volume
Today's was a broad rally with one important caveat: Volume was light. New York Stock Exchange volume hit 736 million shares. Gainers were ahead of decliners 3.84-to-1 on the NYSE and 3.6-to-1 on Nasdaq.

Housing stocks hit four-year highs as the housing recovery becomes clearer. (And with that clarity comes the reminder that starts and sales are still well below their highs at the top of the housing bubble.) The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index ($HGX) finished at 149.80, up 3.52 points and its highest level since Sept. 15, 2008. The index is up 45.5% this year, the best performance of 44 indexes that Market Dispatches tracks.

All 30 Dow stocks were higher on the day, led by Bank of America (BAC), Cisco Systems (CSCO) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM). The laggards were American Express (AXP), Verizon Communications (VZ) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).

So were all 20 stocks in the Dow Jones Transportation Average ($DJT), which jumped 94 points to 5.045. All of the stocks in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index ($SOX) were higher; the index jumped 14 points to 404.54.

Meanwhile, 482 S&P 500 stocks were higher, led by Owens-Illinois (OI), First Solar (FSLR) and chip-maker SanDisk (SNDK). Seagate Technology (STX), Walgreen (WAG) and Reynolds American (RAI) were the laggards.

Sears Holdings (SHLD) and SanDisk were the top Nasdaq-100 stocks. Only three stocks in the index were lower: Warner Chilcott (WCRX), Seagate and Fastenal (FAST).

Sears rose on news that chairman Eddie Lambert had bought about 2.4 million shares this week. The shares have nearly recovered all of their loss resulting from the stock's being removed from the S&P 500.

Short hits from the markets -- New York close



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Sep 6, 2012 1:00PM
When will the lies end?  There are still 23 million people out of work.
Sep 6, 2012 2:58PM

16 Debt.


Thank You Democrats.

Thank You Republicans.


Both you Idiots...have done a splendid job.

Sep 6, 2012 2:09PM
Business pundits call dow 13,000 "an important psychological level": because you have to be a psycho to believe it's worth that much.  
Sep 6, 2012 3:06PM
Current Labor workforce participation rates Jan. 2008-July2012. A false sense of our country's labor picture is being perpetuated by the media. When people no longer qualify for UI assistance, they are dropped from the unemployment claims data. The average person is being mislead into thinking more jobs are being created and people are getting back to work. The truth is, quite the opposite is happening. Corporations are still laying off workers and implementing hiring freezes to stay profitable with shrinking revenues. Many highly skilled workers are forced to accept low paying service sector or multiple part time jobs just to make ends meet. They are the growing population of the underemployed. These trends are disturbing and undermine any chance for our government to expand it's tax base and reduce the burden of increased public assistance. Truth is, the path our country is on is unsustainable and the misguided euphoria being generated by deceptive manipulations of markets and data needs to be addressed. There is an old saying, none is blinder than those who refuse to see. Wake up America, it's not about the past or assigning blame, our government needs to face the situation at hand and deal honestly with the public. Governments buying up crappy bonds isn't solving the problem in Europe, our government does that in America at the expense of our future. Make your choice in November and take it seriously, it's not a football game!
Sep 6, 2012 1:02PM
Eastwood is my hero, he pissed off every democrat in the country.............   he made my day
Sep 6, 2012 12:53PM




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Here’s the OBAMA TAX INCREASE facts from the ObamaCare (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) - arranged by their respective effective dates, below is the total list of all $500 billion-plus in tax hikes (over the next ten years) in Obamacare, where to find them in the bill, and how much your taxes are scheduled to go up as of today.



Sep 6, 2012 1:43PM
Rest assured that with the election only 2 months away most of the media and wall street is going to try to paint the rosiest picture it can however it can. It's "all hands on deck"  for damage control now.
Sep 6, 2012 1:11PM

The market is up because things are so bad in Europe that they are going to monetize their debt.  Great!  I'll buy some stock.  But wait.... Germany doesn't think the ECB should be buying government bonds.   Well if Germany doesn't like it, I wouldn't bet on it since it's their money the ECB is spending.       


It's a great day for the traders though.  It'll go the other way when the details come out. 


Job reports are a nonissue today.  Smoke and mirrors.   

Sep 6, 2012 12:29PM
yes jobless claims have probably fallen since everyone is forced to get a 2nd job!!!!  LOL  Who wants to have to work 2 jobs to support a family??? What lies they tell!!! Go Romney!!!
Sep 6, 2012 2:13PM
HaHaHa-  stocks surge on good news from Europe- of course they will fall later on more reality.  So your  perpetually unemployed brother in law-  Panos Neverworkopolous just borrowed another few billion from your family trust fund.  Naturally his cousins Mario Unionari and  Pablo Pickhisnoso will line up for their handouts.  When the trust is finally empty, big brother Ludwig Lebensraum will move all his family into their house and make them work as servants for the rest of their lives.  Of course their hick cousin , Gomer Gimme A Pile over in USA will  sell off the family farm to help out his poor downtrodden relatives.
Sep 6, 2012 1:49PM

The EU has been in recession (overall out put has shrunk in 2012), a 0.2 contraction in growth this quarter, their GDP down 0.5 from the same quarter last year, and yet everyone is feeling good about pilling more cheap debt on top of existing debt. WOW!!!!!

Good thing I'm in the position to 'ride this wave' without resorting to increasing my risk. Many are not, especially in Europe. Like I stated yesterday, try and keep your investment interests here in the USA or you'll get burned for sure.

Sep 6, 2012 3:22PM

Let's see, the european central bank is going to print money to buy bonds, which are instruments of debt.  The governments sell these bonds to get money to finance themselves.  Then when the bonds mature, the governments have to pay off more than they sold the bonds for, with printed money.  Does anyone else see a dog chasing his tail until he collapses in exhaustion.


Does the term DERIVATIVES come to mind?????????????????????????????

Sep 6, 2012 12:29PM

How many LostOnEarth guys one need to change a lightbulb??




1 stands on the table to hold the lightbulb and 4  alike (i.e.Endeavor15 - or is it 20 now) that turn the table!!



Sep 6, 2012 1:43PM
either friday or monday they will revive the figuers again . PUMP AN DUMP TIME !
Sep 6, 2012 1:27PM

ok a few facts here about this rally


1) Where is the ECB going to get the monies to buy the government debt??? Answer they are going to print monies out of thin air like magi.


and you wonder why the BRICS are now trading with each other in their own currencies.


2) If Europe is so broke that they have to now just print money out of thin air just how does this make their stock market (or ours) gain in value??? Answer it devalues the stocks and bonds thus creating the mother of all bubbles right now.


and you wonder why children and stock brokers believe in Santa Claus and the Easter bunny.

they already believe that you can merely print your way into wealth now.


3) What happens when all that money hits the economy??? Answer even though the governments involved are using a stable basket of goods like buggy whips and slide rulers to gauge that inflation is not really a problem the problem is nobody buys or knows what those things are and that allows inflation to out strip the middle and low class from being able to buy things anymore.


and you wonder why people hid their heads in the sand. The governments by ruling out energy and food should merely say they are ruling out anything that had more then 0.5 percent annual inflation from the core inflation calculation. Thereby inflation will alway remain between zero (no items in the basket to calculate) and 0.5 percent. The Fed's work is done inflation has been tamed.


4) The debt crisis is now going to get even bigger and bigger like Japan's and one day it's going to explode.


Now that the BRICS are not trading in dollars or euros things are going to get bad very quickly


APEC has decided to expand growth merely between member states and forget about non APEC members pretty much as China is in this group the US and Europe are now dead economics.

Sep 6, 2012 3:29PM

Here we go.........the media is making this look good...........on the EU word, there hasn't been any

 positive action yet, just keep your money in the stock market and when it finally comes down,

 all of our debt and the EU's collapse, lets see what excuses they will have for that. There is

absolutely no basis for the stock market to go this high........back to 2007 levels......its stating

 that we are in as good as shape as we were back then........unemployment is high, we are

 going into debt more and more each day by hundreds of millions of dollars and they are trying

 to tell you things are the old saying goes..." A fool and his money are soon parted"

buy silver and gold, have some tangible assets, not worthless money. I will NOT vote for one

 person in congress who is running for re-election, they no longer represent us the people.

Sep 6, 2012 1:40PM
Fine...the ECB is going to buy bonds. With what? Do they have untold trillions of dollars that no one knows about? Maybe they inherited a large fortune? Europe is more broke than the United States, and we owe 16 trillion dollars in debt. So the market is way up today. Tomorrow, it will probably lose more than half of what it gains today simply because someone flinched.
Sep 6, 2012 3:17PM
I believe one of the most important points made by Bill Clinton last evening was that while Republicans and Democrats will always argue, in the past advances have been made when both sides put aside their disagreements and work to solve the problems presented.  One of the primary reasons it seems that the congress can't get anything done is the 'No Budge" attitude from both sides and the refusal to compromise on anything.

Put this problem along with misguided concepts as to what the actual problems are - one being the election of their candidate regardless of anything else - and you end up with not only a misguided effort, but one that will always end badly.

Of course the DNC is going to tout their accomplishments just as the RNC touted theirs, but all of the 'REAL' accomplishments of America have come when both sides work towards a common goal and put petty differences aside for a while.  You can look around yourself and see the results of one side totally defying the other - and if the Republicans take control of the Presidency - I am sure the Democrats will behave similarly towards them and this country will still have nothing - but greater debt, more unemployment, and disparity.
Sep 6, 2012 1:06PM
Hey are wasting your breath....these libs don't care about the FACTS, they just care about how big Mr. Romney's smile is (oh, forgive me, that isn't a is a 'look of phony sincerity') .  Bottom-line, if you tax and panelize (in other words, PUNISH) the rich for making money you are killing what made our country great in the first place... We need rich people...where does everyone think their pay checks are coming from?  Unless of course Mr. O is giving them their monthly handouts....makes me sick.  
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