Markets Soar After Epic European Announcement

It’s been nothing short of an insane week for investors.

While we knew coming in that the final week of the second quarter would be memorable, it’s impossible to fully prepare for the volatility that major announcements can stir up. Of course, those announcements were the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare yesterday, and the conclusion of a critical EU summit today. While stocks initially struggled following the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare, we received proof late on Thursday that Europe was where the true main event was taking place. That proof came through a late day surge, which followed news suggesting that the EU summit was making meaningful progress with its discussions.

Today, that surge was confirmed, as EU policymakers concluded their 14-hour discussion by announcing moves to help save both the ailing European banking system, and governments that are feeling the weight of spiking borrowing costs. The move -- a decision to provide necessary bailout funds for banks without creating any sovereign liability -- was met with widespread enthusiasm within the investment community.

Here’s a snapshot of how the major U.S. indices fared today:

Index

Gain / Loss

Gain / Loss %

Value

Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  )

277.8

2.2%

12,880

S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  )

33.1

2.5%

1,362

Nasdaq

85.6

3.0%

2,935

Source: Yahoo! Finance

Not surprisingly, some of the biggest movers across markets today were those most exposed to the ailing European banking sector. Shares of Banco Santander and Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE  ) made notable moves in response to the bailout news, rising 6.7% and 8.05%, respectively. Banks with global exposure also rose on the announcement, with Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) leading all Dow components on the day, rising 5.4%. For Bank of America, the gain extends its lead as the best year-to-date Dow performer, up 39% in the first six months of 2012.

Allayed European concerns also led to a surge in crude oil, which spiked over 9% on the day to almost $85 a barrel.  Priced in U.S. Dollars, oil benefited from a strong move in the Euro today, which rose as much as 2% against the dollar on Friday. It came as no surprise that  companies highly leveraged to oil prices saw big positive moves, as well. One notable mover was North American exploration player Kodiak Oil & Gas (NYSE: KOG  ) , up 9.5 % on the day.

While today’s news is a short-term positive for the markets, one thing’s for sure: the European story is far from over. As individual investors, it’s easy for us to become overwhelmed when stocks rise and fall on what oftentimes amounts to nothing more than noise when looking back years later. That’s why we at the Fool take a long-term view to investing, one that we outline in our special free report entitled: "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich," Inside, you'll learn about our philosophy, as well as three stocks that are perfect building blocks for a strong portfolio. Claim your copy of this report today, absolutely free of charge, by clicking here now.

Brenton Flynn owns no shares of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of Ireland and 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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