After falling in morning trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) managed to rebound into positive territory after upbeat reports out of Europe that Spain would seek a bailout for its banks. European finance ministers will hold a conference call on Saturday that will shed more light on the issue, but clearly investors are optimistic that one of the major uncertainties concerning the European economy could be addressed.
President Obama also sounded off on the economy and Europe today, saying that it is in "everybody's interest for Greece to remain in the eurozone," and that "there are solutions" to the European economic problems. Overall, it's been a good week for markets; the Dow is on track to gain over 3% on the week.
Turning to individual stocks, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) is the Dow's biggest gainer as of early afternoon trading, rising over 3%. The company has been able to shake off recent Mexican bribery allegations and hit a 52-week high. Wal-Mart has also seen an uptick in sales from shoppers purchasing items online and paying at a store for the purchase within 48 hours. It's a good way for Wal-Mart to further monetize its high proportion of customers that pay with cash.
Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) and Intel (NYSE: INTC ) are two other winners so far, both up over 1% in afternoon trading. The two blue chip companies have also outperformed the Dow in 2012, rising 24% and 9%, respectively, versus 2% for the Dow.
McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) is one of the few Dow stocks in the red today after announcing disappointing May sales. Sales at global stores open at least 13 months rose 3.3% in May, lower than analyst expectations of around 5%. Sales fell in both Japan and China as demand weakened. McDonalds is continuing its expansion in the Middle Kingdom, but is encountering competition from Yum! Brands chains and slowing economic growth in the country.
The big picture
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