Stocks rallied this afternoon on surprisingly good jobs data and housing starts. Heading into the last hour of trading, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were all higher.
The number of people filing for unemployment benefits last week reportedly dropped to the lowest level in four years. In addition, the number of new homes being built rose 1.5% in January.
By around noon today, the major averages shrugged off news that rating agency Moody's threatened to downgrade the credit ratings of some major global and European financial institutions.
Looking at a few individual companies with good news to report, Reliance Steel (NYSE:RS) shares jumped on news the company is raising its dividend 25% to $0.15 per share. Also, DTE Energy shares were strong after posting better than expected quarterly earnings. Shares of Cree (NASDAQ:CREE) shot up over 6.5% after Credit Suisse raised its earnings estimates and set a $31 price target.
Tomorrow morning we'll get the consumer price index report and earnings from Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB), EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG) and Heinz (NYSE:HNZ).
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