The markets are doing everything they can to brush off potentially bad news and focusing on optimism today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) is up 0.53%, and the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) is up 0.32% with a half-hour left in trading.
Moody's could have soured the markets news by saying that it would likely downgrade U.S. debt if a deal isn't reached before we go off the "fiscal cliff." John Boehner responded by saying he wasn't confident at all that a deal would be reached. But investors yawned at the bickering coming from Washington, D.C., and focused on hopes that central banks would boost the economy. Eventually this may be a bigger story, but not today.
Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) was the biggest gainer on the Dow, rising 3.7% today. A U.S. appeals court upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit accusing the bank of racial bias. The bank is also rising on speculation that the Fed will keep rates low at its meeting starting tomorrow and potentially announce a third round of quantitative easing.
Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT) led the decliners on the Dow, falling 1.2% in afternoon trading. Credit Suisse lowered its estimates for the company, and the stock can't seem to get a solid footing despite the rising market. The company's spin-off plans are causing some investors to question the company going forward, and this will likely be a turbulent month until Kraft Foods Group and Modelez International are officially separate companies.
We can't talk about the market today without discussing the elephant in the room: Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL). The tech giant will announce the iPhone 5 tomorrow, and the rumor mill is running full-steam. Some are even predicting that the phone launch will have a positive impact of 0.5% on GDP growth -- wow.
The stock has had an up-and-down day, settling 0.7% lower as I am writing, but tomorrow is when the fireworks really fly. Keep up to date with our live coverage tomorrow and check out our premium report on the stock, including a special iPhone 5 report. Click here to find out more.