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The Dow (INDEX: ^DJI ) rose slightly after Friday’s better-than-expected U.S. jobs report, and after Germany endorsed a plan by the European Central Bank to buy up government bonds.
Since the start of the crisis, the ECB has consistently done the minimum to prevent a full-fledged financial crash. Ultimately, rescuing the Euro is going to require a bold rescue plan that probably includes the ECB or IMF buying up lots of government bonds to help lower borrowing costs for troubled countries like Spain, Italy, and Portugal. Of course, it’s still unclear how far they’re willing to go if push comes to shove.
These three stocks did the best:
Weekly Price Change
|Bank of America (NYSE: BAC )||3.0%|
|Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ )||2.5%|
|Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO )||2.2%|
Any news that Europe is getting some help is good news for Bank of America. Like all the big money-center banks, including Dow-gainer JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM ) , BofA has serious exposure to Europe. Its total exposure to troubled countries comes in at $14.5 billion, though $6.3 billion of that is hedged. What’s more, worsening economic conditions in Europe could spill over into other countries (like the U.S.), where the bank does business.
About two-thirds of HP’s sales come from abroad, and the summer is a particularly slow time for Europe. For a company with low expectations baked into its share price, a stronger European economy, and stronger Euro, could be significant.
Analysts at Deutsche Bank and Oppenheimer predicted that Cisco would have a strong earnings report due to solid demand for switching. Last quarter, the company predicted that the European recession would take a toll on sales, and push revenue growth down to a 2% to 5% range. At the time, some analysts also fretted that Hewlett-Packard has been mounting something of a comeback. Although economic headwinds are naturally taking their toll, long-term, Cisco still holds a fairly strong competitive position.
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