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Stock Market Today – General Motors (GM) Microsoft (MSFT) EBAY and Oracle (ORCL) Report

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(Best Syndication News) Stock markets are closing higher in Asia and opening higher in Europe Friday after Thursday’s rally on Wall Street (see the stock charts below). Traders were encouraged by good unemployment and housing numbers.

The European Central Bank (ECB), which has held back commitments to Greece until the government works out their sovereign debt issues with the private bond-holders, now is hinting they may do something. ECB President Mario Draghi, is now saying the central bank may participate in a bond swap even before the issues are fixed.

The U.S. Commerce Department said that there were 699,000 housing starts in January. On a seasonally adjusted basis, that is an increase of 1.5 percent over December 2011.

The U.S. Department of Labor said that there were 348,000 initial jobless claims for the week ending February 11th. That is a decrease of 13,000 claims from the previous week, and well below analyst expectations of 365,000 claims. Continuing claims were also lower than expected, down to 3.426 million from a revised 3.526 million the week before.

Widely-Held Stocks

Only six of the 90 stocks in our widely-held stock index were lower on Thursday (see the widely-held stock chart below). The General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) was by-far the biggest winner in the index, up nearly nine percent on heavy volume (nearly 3X the average).

A better than expected earnings statement, combined with the positive economic news, sent traders into a frenzy. In the after-hours, the GM share price jumped another 13 cents to $27.30. There was a bid of $27.29 on 500 shares and an ask of $27.35 on 900 shares.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was another widely-held winner. MSFT gained more than four percent during the trading day on heavy volume. The stock is near a four-year high and is the third best DJIA performer this year.

Traders liked the fact that MSFT is well diversified, has performed well over the last couple years, and is planning to provide a consumer preview release of their new Windows 8 operating system later this month.

All of the S&P sectors were higher today (see the sector charts below). The energy, materials, financials, info-tech, and even the utilities sector, were up more than one percent. The Info-tech sector gained 1.57 percent and MSFT is expected to carry more weight in the sector once the insiders own less than 10 percent of the company.

eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), the 5th best performing stock in our index Thursday, gained more than 3.6 percent. The volume was more than 27 percent above average.

A buy rating on the stock, along with publicity over Jeremy Lin, has benefited the online auction site. A criticism from a Visa executive concerning PayPal’s mobile payment system was downplayed, and EBAY fell only one penny to $34.50 in the after-hours. There was a bid of $34.46 on 400 shares and an ask of $34.80 on 400 shares.

Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) was another widely-held winner, up more than three percent. ORCL had been lower four straight days before Thursday’s rebound.

American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) gained nearly three percent on average volume Thursday. A buy rating by a financial services company may have played a role in the company’s rally.

The up-tick in AIG comes after two day’s of declines; however the share price began to slide in the after-hours, down 11 cents to $27.17.

By: Dan Wilson

World Market Chart:

Thursday World Stock Indexes 1 Day 1 Day 1 Week 30-Day 100-Day
2/16/2012 N. & S. AMERICA Pt Change % Change % Change % Change % Change
12,904.08 Dow Jones Industrial -97.33 -0.76% -0.80% 2.94% 14.59%
1,358.04 S&P 500 -7.27 -0.54% -0.50% 4.85% 15.76%
2,959.85 NASDAQ Composite -16.00 -0.55% 0.00% 9.21% 17.54%
12,485.59 S&P TSX Canada 7.56 0.06% -1.27% 1.02% 5.78%
66,141.70 Brazil Bovespa Stock 329.96 0.51% -0.70% 11.65% 22.45%
38,212.24 IPC MXX - Mexico 32.68 0.09% -0.72% 2.29% 12.40%
829.96 Russell 2000 Sm-Cap -6.67 -0.81% -1.74% 8.20% 22.81%
808.83 Russell 3000 98% Mkt -4.15 -0.52% -0.55% 5.67% 16.93%
EUROPE
5,885.38 FTSE 100 England -7.71 -0.13% 0.28% 4.76% 13.38%
3,393.25 CAC 40 France 14.71 0.44% -0.58% 7.80% 11.98%
6,751.96 DAX Germany 29.75 0.44% 0.14% 10.86% 19.83%
785.02 Athens Greece Comp. -41.82 -5.11% -4.06% 19.87% -3.28%
6,217.28 SSMI - Swiss Market 34.52 0.56% 0.69% 2.85% 10.51%
885.27 SMSI - Madrid Spain 0.00 0.00% -0.63% 6.35% 2.12%
17,500.31 FTSE Italia All (Italy) 54.14 0.31% -0.69% 12.02% 3.70%
ASIA & PACIFIC
2,357.42 Shanghai China 21.80 0.93% 0.86% 10.17% 0.11%
9,238.10 Nikkei 225 Japan 208.27 2.30% 2.71% 9.09% 6.43%
21,277.28 Hang Seng Hong Kong 447.40 2.14% 1.65% 13.56% 18.62%
7,869.70 TSEC Taiwan Exchange 121.16 1.54% 1.72% 12.26% 11.45%
4,208.60 S&P ASX 200 Australia 12.40 0.29% -0.37% 2.67% 6.11%
18,153.99 BSE Sensex Bombay 353.84 1.98% 2.80% 14.79% 9.01%
5,521.95 CNX NIFTY NSE India 115.90 2.14% 3.05% 16.46% 10.30%
1,997.45 Korea Com KOSPI 22.68 1.13% 1.08% 8.67% 14.47%
2977.2 STI Singapore 24.27 0.81% 0.99% 11.01% 11.21%

Widely-Held Stock Index Chart:

Thursday Widely Held Stocks BSN One Day One Day Five Day 30-Day 100-Day
2/16/2012 Company Change % Change % Change % Change % Change
45.38 DIRECTV -0.92 -1.99% -0.40% 2.14% 5.07% 1
72.78 ConocoPhillips -0.67 -0.91% 1.72% -0.61% 13.49% 2
62.73 PepsiCo, Inc. -0.34 -0.54% -2.40% -5.27% 1.36% 3
27.31 Lowe's Companies, Inc. -0.12 -0.44% 1.49% 3.56% 37.79% 4
38.24 Kraft Foods Inc. -0.05 -0.13% -1.04% 1.32% 11.62% 5
54.81 Gilead Sciences, Inc. -0.01 -0.02% 2.01% 28.90% 38.58% 6
2.14 Sirius XM Radio Inc. 0.00 0.00% -2.28% 4.90% 28.92% 7
2.26 Sprint Nextel Corp 0.00 0.00% -5.44% 0.89% -26.86% 8
20.26 Sara Lee Corp. 0.02 0.10% 1.45% 7.37% 15.38% 9
51.93 Target Corporation 0.12 0.23% -1.46% 7.05% 2.59% 10
               
               
12.74 Ford Motor Company 0.36 2.91% 0.39% 9.92% 26.39% 80
27.28 American Intl. Group... 0.79 2.98% -0.26% 14.09% 16.28% 81
32.71 Citigroup Inc. 0.99 3.12% -2.82% 14.73% 22.42% 82
27.52 EMC Corporation 0.86 3.23% 4.32% 25.66% 29.20% 83
28.95 Oracle Corporation 0.97 3.47% 0.21% 8.88% -2.56% 84
21.98 The Bank of New York... 0.75 3.53% 0.92% 5.93% 16.91% 85
34.51 eBay Inc. 1.20 3.60% 3.76% 12.37% 6.02% 86
8.09 Bank of America Corp 0.31 3.98% -1.10% 28.21% 22.58% 87
31.28 Microsoft Corporation 1.23 4.09% 1.66% 13.01% 22.96% 88
0.393 Federal National... 0.02 6.22% 25.56% 95.52% 53.52% 89
27.17 General Motors Co 2.24 8.99% 5.56% 22.55% 28.89% 90

Sector Chart:

Thursday S&P Sector Name (10) One-Day One-Week 30-Day 100-Day 100-Day
2/16/2012 % Change % Change % Change % Change High
553.53 Energy 1.24% 0.88% 4.06% 21.32% 553.53
235.93 Materials 1.68% -1.16% 7.25% 20.02% 239.7
319.45 Industrials 0.84% -0.56% 6.58% 23.01% 322.29
336.86 Consumer Discretionary 0.53% 0.20% 6.60% 16.75% 337.05
339.1 Consumer Staples 0.67% 0.87% 1.42% 9.13% 339.1
420.01 Health Care 0.66% 1.09% 3.42% 13.28% 420.01
197.74 Financials 1.60% -0.12% 8.88% 20.26% 198.75
466.26 Info Tech 1.57% 1.06% 11.00% 18.94% 466.26
127.35 Telecom Svc 0.66% 0.28% -0.93% 4.67% 129.91
177.34 Utilities 1.13% 0.27% -1.00% 3.57% 184.18
Thursday Dow Sectors (10) One-Day One-Week 30-Day 100-Day 100-Day
2/16/2012 % Change % Change % Change % Change High
3178.92 Basic Materials 1.89% -1.51% 8.39% 20.10% 3244.85
3516.32 Consumer Goods 0.95% 1.07% 4.27% 12.39% 3516.32
3799.02 Consumer Services 0.71% 0.28% 6.65% 15.59% 3799.02
3062.76 Financials 1.47% 0.01% 8.38% 20.19% 3070.92
3572.04 Health Care 0.80% 1.37% 5.21% 15.32% 3572.04
3356.02 Industrials 1.14% -0.29% 8.24% 24.94% 3369.58
6100.66 Oil & Gas 1.37% 1.22% 4.81% 22.60% 6100.66
7128.71 Technology 1.72% 1.14% 12.05% 20.09% 7128.71
1094.38 Telecommunications 0.70% 0.46% 0.96% 6.03% 1096.63
1844.47 Utilities 1.14% 0.19% -0.72% 4.70% 1907.11

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