The market opened sharply higher this morning, but then quickly fell back. The Dow Jones Industrial Average popped early, fell to 12,900, and then climbed a bit higher. Here is a look at all the big news that investors are watching today.
- The initial pop in early trading came on the back of impressive retail sales, but interestingly enough, the Consumer Discretionary Sector
ETF is still down in the red for the day. One reason would seem to be that its most heavily weighted position, McDonald's (AMEX: XLY) is down right now, but their third-largest holding, Home Depot (NYSE: MCD) , climbed 1.7% to hit a new 52-week high today. Definitely a bit of zigging when it looks like the market should be zagging here. (NYSE: HD)
- The eurozone continues to bother markets, shaking confidence and correspondingly moving the Volatility Index higher in the last month. The biggest threat right now is stemming from Spain. The highly indebted nation didn't inspire a lot of confidence today as its bond yield rose above 6%. Europe seems like an economic game of Whac-A-Mole right now, where you solve one problem and another pops up in its place. Investors can only hope that the ECB can corral all the debt and ease concerns going forward.
reported today and received a positive reception by the street. Shares are up 3% right now, despite the company's first-quarter net income falling 2%. Ultimately its earnings beat expectations as the company realized a steady push in loans and an overall improving economic environment in the U.S. Excluding special items, the bank's earnings were up 7% from a year ago. Many expected a performance like this after JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo (NYSE: C) reported solid numbers last week. Despite big year-to-date gains, many investors expect the big banks to be top performers in 2012 as they grow to fill the void created from their historically low price-to-book-value ratios. Only time will tell, but I'm personally optimistic on banking in the year ahead. (NYSE: WFC)
The best approach
Watching the market each day is exciting, but it's no way to invest. Making the right purchases requires patience and solid research. If you're interested in learning more about any of the stocks here, I suggest you add these companies to My Watchlist. It's a totally free service offered by the Fool to help you learn everything you need to in order to make informed decisions about these stocks. You can start today using the links below.
Austin Smith owns shares of McDonald's, Wells Fargo, and has Citigroup A warrants. The Motley Fool owns shares of Citigroup and Wells Fargo, and has created a covered strangle position in Wells Fargo. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Home Depot, Wells Fargo, and McDonald's. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not 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.