Solid gains for retail sales outside of ex-clunker autos fueled a strong rally on Wall Street with the Dow Jones industrial average rising past 10,000 to end at 10,015 for a 1.5 percent gain. The S&P gained even more, up 1.8 percent to 1,092 and is approaching the 1,100 level that bulls had been hoping to reach by year end, let alone October. The S&P is up an amazing 64 percent from its March low. September's gains along with those so far in October are embarrassing the bears who nevertheless continue to warn that the market is moving too far and way too fast. Strong results from Intel late yesterday and promises of more were also behind today's strength.
Wednesday's overnight session saw strong trade data out of China, data that raised expectations further of a widening interest rate differential between the U.S. and other economies. And investors are seeking yield, pushing the dollar index down a very steep 0.7 percent to 75.46. At $75.10, oil firmed a little more than 50 cents but is only flirting, not breaking through, $75, considered to be hard resistance at the outside of an existing range beginning at $65. Gold may be flirting with another breakout, this time to $1,100. Gold ended steady at just under $1,065.