The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) rose from the opening bell today, gaining back some of the losses that it endured when it suffered its second-worst drop of the year yesterday. The Dow is currently up about a half of a percentage point in late afternoon trading, while the Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC ) is rising higher on strength from the tech sector.
Cooler heads appear to be prevailing today after a seemingly endless barrage of bad news yesterday. U.S. jobless claims from two weeks ago were revised lower, Philadelphia-area manufacturing declined faster than expected, and data from Europe and China's manufacturing sector was universally disappointing. All of these reports sent stocks spiraling downward yesterday, but today is a new day and the three major indexes are all in the black despite a down day for stocks in Europe.
Investors overwhelmingly shrugged off Moody's after-hours downgrade yesterday of 15 of the world's largest banks. The action was widely expected and already priced into many of the bank stocks. In fact, both Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) actually rose in after-hours trading yesterday following the downgrade of both banks' credit ratings. Today, JPMorgan is on pace to finish as one of the Dow's top gainers, rising 2% so far. Bank of America is also outperforming the blue chip index, up over 1% in late afternoon trading.
Outside the Dow, Facebook (Nasdaq: FB ) is up nearly 4% so far today, continuing its strong performance this week. An upgrade from Nomura to buy and a price target of $40 is helping push up the stock today. Shares of Facebook have risen over 10% in the past five days, welcome news for investors, though many still remain in the red: The stock is still down over 12% from its IPO price.
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