With a record-setting January in the books, the markets registered a strong opening-day performance for the second month of the year. Whether February can keep 2012's impressive pace going remains to be seen. Yesterday's trading session was filled with activity featuring Facebook filing for a $5 billion IPO, several prominent economic indicators released, and positivity over Greek debt deal a resolution.
But before we jump into these macro events, let's see how the three largest indices fared:
|Gain / Loss||Gain / Loss %||Ending Value|
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Source: Yahoo! Finance
All three had solid performances, with the Dow hitting -- but not holding -- May 2008 levels, helped in a large part by strong macro data. It appears that the recent gains by manufacturing are strengthening. Auto sales were up 11% in January, its best showing in almost four years and even Chrysler -- Chrysler -- turned a profit. The ISM index had its best performance since the beginning of summer with 54.1, an increase of 1.0 sequentially (anything over 50 shows expansion), and December construction spending bested expectations.
After hours, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
The Dow took a breather with no components reporting yesterday, but will be right back at it with Merck
However, the most important thing to watch before trading will be unemployment data. This is a major economic indicator and will likely set the tone for the trading day.
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