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Why the Dow Rallied Today

John Divine
November 1, 2012

Fresh off a poor showing in October, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) started November on a positive note, advancing 136 points, or 1.04%, to close at 13,232. Investors applauded economic data released today that was better than anticipated, and markets showed gains from the opening bell forward.

According to payroll processing firm ADP, the U.S. tacked on an extra 158,000 private sector jobs in October, which bodes well for the official employment figures coming tomorrow from the Department of Labor. Previous expectations for private and public sector job gains in the month had been around 120,00. The index gauging consumer sentiment also rallied, to 72.2, its highest level in more than four and a half year.

In response to the bullish news, only three of the Dow's 30 components fell on the day. Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT  ) lost the most of the three, shedding more than 2%. The stumble could be due to the fact that rival (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) decided to start Black