Why the Dow Is Skyrocketing

Markets are soaring a day after Spain announced that it was effectively shut out of capital markets, despite European Central Bank President Mario Draghi indicating that additional monetary policy was not forthcoming. A more tightly integrated banking union between the eurozone members is in the works, but nothing would take effect before 2014, arriving just in time to pick up the pieces from a fiscal crisis. It's years late and a few drachma short, it seems. Still, beaten-down companies at the heart of the crisis like indebted Greek shipper DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS  ) and Spanish financial institution Banco Santandar (NYSE: STD  ) are seeing healthy 3% gains.

If anything, today's optimism is pre-empting Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's appearance tomorrow before Congress. With the hopes of sustained recovery dimming, a new round of quantitative easing or extending Operation Twist may be in the works.

Let's take a closer look at the three major indexes and drill down on a few stocks soaring above the rest of the market.

Index

Gain/Loss

Gain/Loss %

Intraday Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  )

(26.95)

(0.22%)

12,091.62

Nasdaq

7.33

0.27%

2,754.81

S&P 500

(0.53)

(0.04%)

1,277.51

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

All three major indexes are up nearly 2% as of this writing, and the Nasdaq's first-place performance isn't surprising, as the tech sector's 2.5% gain leads the rest of the market. All 30 Dow components are green as the index is back in positive territory for the year, with Bank of America's (NYSE: BAC  ) 6% increase leading the charge today. Additional federal reserve action would directly benefit the too-big-to-fail Wall Street firms the most, as would a rate cut in Europe, an idea that made it into recent ECB discussions before getting shot down by central bankers.

Unsurprisingly, the Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X Shares (NYSE: FAS  ) ETF is up 6.5%.That said, determining if today's gain is a change in sentiment or simply short covering before a potentially big announcement from Bernanke remains to be seen.

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David Williamson holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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