Calls of irrational exuberance be darned — Thursday was fun for everyone but the most bearish traders. The European Union’s announcement of an agreement to combat the region’s sovereign debt crisis sent the markets soaring Thursday, with the Dow Jones up almost 340 points (2.9%), the S&P 500 up about 43 points (3.4%) and the Nasdaq up some 88 points (3.3%).
Every component of the DJIA was up by at least 1% — the biggest winners included Alcoa (NYSE:AA), which was up 9.07% to $11.30, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC, +9.56%, $7.22) and General Electric (NYSE:GE, +6.24%, $17.37).
One of the biggest sector winners Thursday was financials, with several gaining more than 15% on the day. Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) was up 17.95% to $47.31, Barclays (NYSE:BCS) up 17.37% to $13.85 and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) up 17% to $19.41.
Several big names reporting earnings rode higher either alongside or on top of the market crest Thursday.
Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) slightly missed EPS expectations of 63 cents per share when it reported third-quarter EPS of 62 cents Thursday — nonetheless, the 59% jump in earnings propelled the stock up about 8% to $29.10. Exxon Mobil’s (NYSE:XOM) earnings jumped 41% in the third quarter, from EPS of $1.44 per share last year to $2.13 per share, slightly beating expectations. The stock increased just 1% to $81.88 but has gained about 5% in the five trading days leading up to the report. And US Airways’ (NYSE:LCC) third-quarter profits dropped almost 66%, but adjusted EPS of 51 cents per share beat earnings expectations of 48 cents, sending the stock up 3% to $5.83.
Also announced Thursday was the long-awaited decision by Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) about whether it would keep its PC division. After saying in August that the company was considering spinning off its Personal Systems Group to move away from the consumer market, Hewlett-Packard, under new CEO Meg Whitman, said it would keep the PSG division. HPQ finished the day up almost 5% at $26.99.Three Up
- Acme Packet (NASDAQ:APKT): Up 19.05% ($5.63) to $35.18.
- Century Aluminum (NASDAQ:CENX): Up 18.88% ($1.86) to $11.71
- ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT): Up 15.26% ($2.99) to $22.58.
- Quality Systems (NASDAQ:QSII): Down 51.76% ($44.88) to $41.82.
- Avon Products (NYSE:AVP): Down 18.25% ($4.20) to $18.81.
- Hershey Foods (NYSE:HSY): Down 4.04% ($2.42) to $57.46.
As of this writing, Kyle Woodley did not own a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. Check out recaps from previous trading days here.