The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) sits near breakeven as of 1:50 p.m. EDT, up 8.4 points, or 0.06%. The mild bounce puts an end to several days of headlong drops which caused the widely watched index to lose 1.8% of it value in a week.
A strong economic indicator certainly helped: Today's jobless-claims report showed the fewest unemployment filings in the last four years. More jobs means more consumer spending, which keeps the financial wheels rolling around. None of this very recent improvement will show up in the earnings season that's swinging into action right now, but long-term investors can move markets, too.
The day's biggest winners are infrastructure plays -- not consumer-centric stocks. Alcoa (NYSE:AA) jumped 1.6%, repairing some of the damage done by Tuesday's uninspiring earnings report. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) gained 1.5% thanks to a long, slow climb in premarket action. Boeing's (NYSE: BA) 1.2% jump rests at least partly on a failed merger in Europe, which takes a potential threat to Boeing's global defense business off the table.
But it's not all wine and roses. Perennial winner Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) notched a 1.6% plunge as Stan Lee Media filed a billion-dollar lawsuit against the company. Stan Lee Media claims to own the copyrights to many of the Marvel characters that are raking in the dough for Disney nowadays. Grab some popcorn and stay tuned, because this case looks entertaining.
Watching the broad market each day may be as much fun as a superhero action romp, but investing doesn't have to be that crazy. If you're in the mood to pick up some solid buys for the long term, The Motley Fool has created a brand-new free report from our expert analysts called "2 Dirt Cheap Stocks With Huge Dividends." It won't be available forever, so click here -- it's free.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. Check out Anders' bio and holdings, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America. The Motley Fool has a strict disclosure policy.
We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletters free for 30 days.