Why the Dow Surged Today

U.S. stock markets retook some of their losses from yesterday's negative session and then some today. All three major American indexes gained ground today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) added just under 70 points, equating to a more than 0.5% gain on the day. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose less than the Dow but ended up rising 0.3% and 0.02%, respectively.

Today's trading session largely lacked a catalyst to drive a strong market move in either direction. Instead, investors watching the broader economy have shifted their focus to later this week, when the U.S. Federal Reserve's policymaking meeting is set to conclude on Thursday. Even the market's oft-cited "fear gauge," the VIX (INDEX: ^VXX  ) , ticked only 0.8% higher.

However, individual stocks picked up the slack of the broader indexes, featuring several compelling moves from familiar names.

Around the markets
Shares of daily-deal deadbeat Groupon (Nasdaq: GRPN  ) jumped 7.7% on positive commentary from its CFO, Jason Child. Speaking at a Raymond James investor conference, Child said the company is rolling out several of its key technology platforms to its European segments in the second half of the year, a move Child referred to as "one the of primary [growth] drivers we expect to see in the back half of the year." For the company, which has lost its around 75% of its market value since its public debut last year, this might be too little, too late.

Not to be outdone, Cell Therapeutics' (Nasdaq: CTIC  ) stock surged 38.5% as the company announced its plans to begin marketing its Pixuvri lymphoma drug in Europe this month. The effort will start in the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Denmark, and Finland this month. From there, the drug's European invasion will proceed to Austria and Norway in October and eventually to Germany, the U.K., and the Netherlands in November. Further expansions into southern Europe will be slated for 2013, according to the company. This could be a huge win for the company, whose drug has yet to gain full approval in the United States.

However, as ardent observers of the market, we insist investors look past the daily market noise when making any investment decision. The safest way to make sure you don't get sideswiped by the market's crazy spikes is to look beyond the day-to-day movements and focus on what you can really understand -- a company's long-term prospects. The Fool recently highlighted three of the top Dow dividend dynamos in a research report for our readers. You can grab it for free today, so get started.

Andrew Tonner holds no financial position in any of the companies mentioned in this article. You can find Andrew and all his Foolish writing on Twitter at @Andrew Tonner. 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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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