Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Stocks rebounded from oversold conditions as three of the previous four sessions had showcased heavy selling. Some decent economic data and the traditional soothing words from Fed head Ben Bernanke on Capital Hill helped support the market. The S&P 500 gained 0.6% and the NASDAQ 0.4%.
- Bernanke, in testimony on Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee, strongly defended the Fed's bond-buying stimulus program and quieted rumblings that the central bank may pull back from its stimulative policy measures, which were sparked by the release of the Fed minutes last week.
In economic news:
- Consumer confidence rose after three months of declines, according to the Conference Board. The consumer confidence index rose to 69.6 in February from 58.4 in January. That's higher than last year's average of 67.1.
- Sales of new homes rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 437,000, the Commerce Department said. That's the highest level since July 2008. Sales are still well below the 700,000 annual level that economists consider healthy.
Oil fell 0.5% to $92.63, gold gained 1.8% to $1615.50, and silver added 0.9% to $29.26.
European indexes, which had closed yesterday before the majority of the tumble on Wall Street and the Italian election results, suffered Tuesday. The FTSE 100 fell 1.3%, the DAX dropped 2.3% and the CAC-40 sunk 2.7%.
- Italy's 10-year government bond yield soared 0.52 percentage point to 4.88%, while the corresponding yield on Spain's bond also jumped, rising 0.24 percentage point to 5.34%. .
Japan dropped 2.3% and China 1.4%.