What a difference a day can make.
A day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average
American markets opened higher and never looked back. By day's end, the Dow had gained 217 points, or approximately 1.7%, to end the week a mere 0.1% higher. Likewise, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 each notched gains of 2% and 1.9%, respectively. Equally encouraging, the market's often-referred-to "fear gauge," or the VIX
Back to the hiring news. U.S. payrolls increased by 163,000 in July after certain seasonal adjustments, well in excess of economists' average estimate of only 95,000. However, the unemployment rate also rose slightly to 8.3% during the month. In Europe, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy buoyed investors' hopes, showing some openness toward requesting a formal bailout from the eurozone bailout fund for the heavily indebted sovereign. This came on the heels of commentary from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi's comments yesterday that the ECB would be open to beginning purchases of Spanish debt if Spain requested financial assistance (read: a bailout).
Around the markets
European stock markets also took off on today's positive commentary, with the Stoxx 600 gaining 2.4%. Individual European stocks also surged. Embattled Spanish telecom Telefonica
On the earnings front, business social-networking site LinkedIn
Foolish bottom line
Although especially on days like today it's easy to get caught up in the positive news, real investors need to stay focused on what's most important -- winning over the long term. That means buying and holding companies that stand the test of time. Recently, the Fool highlighted three Dow dividend powerhouses that fit these characteristics. Access our new research report
Andrew Tonner holds none of the stocks mentioned here. The Motley Fool owns shares of LinkedIn and France Telecom. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of France Telecom and LinkedIn. We Fools don't 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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.