Did You Miss Today's Rally?

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

Over the past few days, a number of Foolish writers and I have been telling investors that, as the markets were falling due to the government shutdown and debt ceiling debate, some good buying opportunities were presenting themselves. But if you, like me, were expecting the market to get a little worse before getting better, and held off on pulling the trigger to buy, don't feel bad: There will surely be other opportunities in the future to buy when prices are low. In today's massive rally, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) rose 323 points (2.18%), the S&P 500 increased by 36 points (2.18% also), and the Nasdaq rose 82 points (2.26%), .

Just a few weeks ago, the markets fell when it seemed that the U.S. might attack Syria because of the belief that the country had used chemical weapons on its own people. Prior to and during that same time, fears that the Federal Reserve would soon taper its bond-buying program were all the rage, and the markets declined during most of the month of August. The average investor needs to remember and understand that there is always going to be another doomsday-type disaster waiting just around the corner, during which time, a new buying opportunity will present itself. So, instead of chasing today's gains and buying into the rally, be patient and wait for the next time stocks fall due to irrational reasons. Also remember Warren Buffett's famous quote, "Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful."

Now, as the Dow Jones rose higher today, every single one of its 30 components ended the session in the green, and other than Chevron and Merck, which merely increased by 0.22% and 0.43%, respectively, the other 28 stocks all rose in value by more than 1.03%. Let's take a look at a few of the biggest winners of the day, and why they led the others higher.

Shares of JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) increased by 3.49% today. The bank is scheduled to report earnings tomorrow, which may be one reason shares jumped so high today, but another reason could be the beating that the stock has taken over the past few sessions, and investors realizing that the move downward had been overdone. Shares closed last Friday at $52.67, and had fallen 3.64% during trading on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week. While some of that move earlier in the week could be attributed to the Wells notice that the bank received, that move still seemed to have been larger than it should have been.

Another stock that had taken a beating earlier in the week, but jumped higher today, was Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) , which closed last Friday at $65.30, and had falled 2.61% this week until today. Investors were clearly writing off the entertainment company. This may have been, as I noted yesterday, due to fears that consumers were losing confidence in the markets and economy, and would soon rein in spending until the shutdown and debt ceiling crisis was over. But, the recent pullback in the share price would have been a decent time for investors who have a long-term mind-set to add to a current position, because a company like Disney has proven in the past that it can weather the storm of a poor economy.

Lastly, shares of Nike (NYSE: NKE  ) rose today after the company's analyst meeting yesterday, during which management explained to investors that it plans to grow revenues from the current $25 billion in 2013 to around $30 billion by fiscal 2015, and continue to increase revenues to upwards of $37 billion by fiscal 2017. These comments, combined with the company's recent earnings beat, gave investors the confidence to push shares higher by 3.6%. 

A deeper Foolish perspective

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