What’s Behind the Dow's 200-Point Rally

The market certainly began Thanksgiving week by giving investors something to be thankful for. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) spiked 207 points, or 1.65%, to close at 12,795. It was the biggest one-day gain for the index in two months, and not a single one of the Dow's 30 components lost ground. 

The market euphoria was largely driven by indications that a resolution to the dreaded $607 billion "fiscal cliff" is on the way. President Obama said yesterday he was confident a solution could be reached, just days after House Speaker John Boehner hinted that the fiscal talks were on the right track. If an agreement is reached, it would be a huge boon to the markets, which have been driven down in recent weeks on fears of political gridlock on the issue.

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) was the biggest gainer in the Dow today, tacking on more than 4%. Not only does the Dow's best performer of 2012 tend to exhibit more volatility than its peers, but investors have been encouraged by recent analyst upgrades and hopes of a turnaround at the major bank. Expectations that the financial giant may raise its dividend in the near future have also driven the stock up. 

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) posted the Dow's second-biggest gains, jumping up 3.5% to keep in line with a good all-round day for technology. Perhaps the fact that the most frequently discussed (and without a doubt the largest) of all tech stocks, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) , had a great day helped HP out a bit. Investors bought Apple stock in droves today, sending it up more than 7% after a Barron's weekend story touted Apple shares as undervalued. 

Another stock that soared on Monday was the 3-D printing company, 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD  ) , which shot up 8.5% after the company held a conference call to defend its accounting practices. As the marketer of a disruptive technology itself, the confidence investors gained in the company's financial situation dovetailed nicely with a bullish day for tech on Wall Street to send shares through the roof. 

There is absolutely no argument that Apple is at the center of technology's largest revolution ever, and that longtime shareholders have been handsomely rewarded, with more than 1,000% gains. However, there is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and more importantly, your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.


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