Stocks rallied strongly on Wednesday, nearly making up for Tuesday's rout. Financial shares posted big gains on bargain hunting led by PNC, up 37 percent, and Bank of America and Citigroup, both up 31 percent. Shares of IBM gained 12 percent after the computer giant easily estimates and raised 2009 guidance. Apple is likely to be a big gainer on Thursday's opening after the computer and digital device maker also easily beat estimates. But not all companies will be posting gains as disk drive maker Seagate and online marketplace eBay both missed estimates after the close.
Economic data was once again bleak as the housing market index edged down to new depths that point, despite lower mortgage rates, to further declines in home sales. The dollar retraced some of its steep gains on Tuesday, giving back about 1-1/2 cents to $1.3043 against the euro. Money moved out of the safety of Treasuries but only very slightly with the 2-year yield ending at 0.76 percent, up 6 basis points from yesterday.
Crude oil, moving in line with the stock market as a barometer of economic growth, rose 8% to $44.16. Gold edged slightly lower to $851