Why the Dow Jumped Higher Today

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) continued its seesawing ways of late, this time with a positive result: The blue-chip index finished up more than 160 points and gained back all of Monday's losses. Not a whole lot changed from yesterday in Europe; investors still aren't reacting very enthusiastically to the bailout of Spanish banks, and many wonder whether Spain itself might be next in line for a bailout. Spanish bond yields rose yet again, as investors continue to view the bonds as increasingly risky.

But increased hopes for more stimulus from the Federal Reserve helped the market overcome the eurozone uncertainty. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charlie Evans he would support a number of options to generate faster job growth. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has been much more non-committal on the issue, though he said last week that he is prepared to act if necessary.

Here's how three major U.S. indices fared on the day:

Index

Change

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average 162.57 [1.31%] 12,573.80
Nasdaq 33.34 [1.19%] 2,843.07
S&P 500 15.25 [1.17%] 1,324.18

Turning to individual stocks, Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) was the Dow's biggest winner today, rising 3.5%. The company finally agreed to a deal with Air India on compensation for three years of delayed 787 Dreamliners. The delivery of Air India's Dreamliner, expected soon, will be the first of the state-of-the-art planes delivered outside Japan. Boeing has done a good job lately of ramping up Dreamliner production; it currently produces about 3.5 per month and plans to hit 10 planes per month by the end of 2013.

The Dow's financial companies also largely had a good day, as one might expect with all the talk of the potential for more stimulus from the Fed. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) were the Dow's second and third biggest gainers today, both rising 2.9%. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon will appear at a Senate Banking Committee hearing tomorrow morning, where he will testify about the bank's $2 billion trading loss disclosed last month.

Outside the Dow, battery maker A123 Systems (Nasdaq: AONE  ) jumped a whopping 51.9% after announcing that it developed new technology that allows lithium ion batteries to operate in extreme hot or cold temperatures without separate costly heating or cooling systems. The technology could help decrease costs for electric vehicles down the road. That's much-needed great news for A123, which has been struggling after the discovery of defective A123 battery packs in the Fisker Karma sports car.

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Brendan Byrnes owns no shares of any company mentioned above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't 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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