U.S. stocks staged a comeback Tuesday after Monday’s dips, advancing across the board while investors wring their hands in anticipation of two major pieces of news.
In the U.S., investors are awaiting word from the Federal Reserve on whether it will announce new stimulus measures after completing its two-day policy meeting on Thursday. Friday’s weak jobs report is viewed by many as a reason to put into play a third round of quantitative easing.
On the European side, Germany’s Constitutional Court will rule Wednesday on whether the European Stability Mechanism — the bailout fund holding together the EU — is legal. The ruling will play an important part in determining the viability of the eurozone.
The net result: The Dow finished at its highest level since December 2007, up 0.52% at 13,323, the S&P gained 0.31% to end at 1,433, and the Nasdaq moved up fractionally to 3,104.
Financial stocks continued a slow year-long rally, with Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) soaring nearly 4% and Citigroup (NYSE:C) up more than 2% after a price was reached on MS’ Smith Barney buyout. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) both finished Monday up more than 1%.
Struggling technology giant Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) announced yet another round of layoffs as CEO Meg Whitman tries to right-size the company. With its most recent announcement of 2,000 cuts, HPQ’s layoff total is expected to amount to 29,000 workers by 2014 at a cost of $3.7 billion. HPQ shares rose 2.75% on the news.
British fashion house Burberry (PINK:BURBY) lowered guidance numbers for the year, which not only resulted in an 18% bloodletting in BURBY shares, but losses among other luxury names. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (PINK:LVMUY) and Ralph Lauren each shed around 2.5%, while Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) and Coach (NYSE:COH) each slid more than 1%.
Convenience store operator Casey’s General Stores (NASDAQ:CASY) announced solid earnings that beat Street estimates; investors ran shares up more than 4% on the day.
And with one more day to go before the expected Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 reveal, Apple stock listed, finishing down fractionally.
- Angie’s List (NASDAQ:ANGI): Up 11.8% ($1.17) to $11.06.
- Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN): Up 8.4% (36 cents) to $4.63.
- Nokia (NYSE:NOK): Up 6.5% (17 cents) to $2.80.
- Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW): Down 7% ($5.03) to $66.72 (read more here).
- Amarin (NASDAQ:AMRN): Down 5.5% (79 cents) to $13.62.
- Monster Worldwide (NYSE:MWW): Down 3.2% (26 cents) to $7.89.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long AAPL.