The Dow Finishes on a Strong Note

It’s unfortunate that European countries are not more like big banking firms in the sense that downgrades increase their valuations. That’s exactly what happened to a group of large international banks; one day after Moody’s downgraded 15 of the world’s largest financial firms, 13 soared higher.

 The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) finished the day up .53%, with the help of the banking Dow components Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) , and JP Morgan Chase, both up 1.53% and 1.35% respectively.

Index Gain/ Loss Gain/ Loss %
Dow Jones Industrials 53.51 .43%
S&P 500 4.33 .33%
August WTI Futures .57 .73%
Source: Yahoo! Finance

Internationally, good news came out of Spain, where external auditors determined that the country will need to supply its banking sector with $78 billion to survive the worst-case scenario. Although this number is astronomical, it’s considerably lower than originally thought. Spain’s IBEX 35 increased 1.5%, as the 10-year Spanish note dropped -.27% on the news.

Benchmark WTI crude oil prices moved back into the $80 range, with August futures prices increasing 2.5% today. The price increase was buoyed up by positive investor sentiment about a viable solution to the euro-zone debt fiasco. Both big oil and small benefited from the stiff increase in price. Kodiak Oil and Gas (NYSE: KOG  ) popped 3.25%, with additional help from a buy rating by Wunderlich Securities, which claims that the E&P company has operations sitting in the middle of some of the most productive areas in the Williston basin.

The recently spun-off Philips 66 (NYSE: PSX  ) was up 2% today, as the refining company finalized a pioneering deal with Delta Airlines (NYSE: DAL  ) for a 185,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Trainer, Pennsylvania. This deal will allow Delta to use refined jet fuel, as the airline company expects to put a dent in its $12 billion yearly fuel cost.

Keep a long term focus
It seems that the broad markets are again in a minor adjustment after a heavy sell-off day. With news pouring in by the hour with promises of easing capital liquidity, the markets are in for increased volatility. Now would be a great time to check out the Motley Fool’s special report describing 3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich. This free report will list three remarkable companies, as well as offer great advice on how to invest to secure a comfortable retirement. Get your free report now.

Joel South does not own shares in any company listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America Corporation Com. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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