Stocks rally on strong auto sales, factory orders

@CNNMoneyInvest July 3, 2012: 3:33 PM ET
U.S. markets

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks rallied on a holiday-shortened trading day, as investors reacted to strong auto sales and an increase in U.S. factory orders for May.

But the big market-moving news will come Friday when the government releases June unemployment numbers.

Many investment professionals are off for the week. U.S. markets closed at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, and will remain dark Wednesday to celebrate Independence Day.

All three indexes closed higher on Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) rose 72 points, or 0.6%, the S&P 500 (SPX) gained 9 points, or 0.6%, and the Nasdaq (COMP) added 25 points, or 0.8%.

CNNMoney's Fear & Greed Index hit 58, back in "Greed" territory after a long stint in "Extreme Fear" during the worst of Europe's debt crisis. Before last Friday, the index hadn't been above 50 since April 9 -- the day markets sold off on a lousy jobs report.

Though Tuesday's economic reports boosted markets for most of the day, disappointing manufacturing data released Monday continued to temper optimism.

"Vehicle sales coming in better [helped] the market today, and we're still getting a bounce from decisions out of Europe at the end of last week," said Bernie Williams, vice president of discretionary money management at USAA. "But there's no question that the economic slowdown in Europe is impacting the U.S., as we saw with manufacturing numbers."

The Institute for Supply Management said its June Purchasing Manufacturers Index fell to 49.7, down from 53.5 in May. It was the first time the index fell below 50, which signals expansion in the sector, since July 2009.

Meanwhile, manufacturing activity in the euro area continued to decline in June, while the region's unemployment rose to a record high. The Chinese government's report of manufacturing activity declined slightly, but remained above the level indicating expansion.

U.S. stocks finished mixed Monday as investors digested news of the manufacturing slowdown.

World markets: European stocks all closed higher on Tuesday. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) added 0.8%, the DAX (DAX) in Germany jumped 1.3% and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) gained 1%.

Asian markets ended higher. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) closed up 0.1%, the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong rose 1.5%, and Japan's Nikkei (N225) finished 0.7% higher.

Economy: Factory orders for May rose by 0.7%, after increasing 0.4% in April. That beat expectations; economists at forecast the number to climb by 0.5%.

Companies: Automakers reported June sales figures Tuesday. Ford (F, Fortune 500) posted a 7% gain from last June, with 208,000 vehicles sold. Ford had warned last week that second-quarter losses from overseas operations -- particularly in Europe -- would be bigger than expected.

Chrysler sold 145,0000 vehicles in June, a 20% gain from a year ago, while General Motors (GM, Fortune 500) sold nearly 249,000 vehicles, a 16% increase. Toyota (TM) saw a 60% increase, selling 177,795 vehicles. Ford's stock rose 2%, and shares of GM jumped 6%.

Barclays (BCS) chief executive Bob Diamond will step down from his post, the bank said Tuesday. The news came a day after chairman Marcus Agius announced his own resignation amid the widening scandal surrounding the bank's manipulation of interbank lending rates. However, Agius was renamed chairman to lead the search for a new CEO on Tuesday. Barclays closed down more than 2%.

Seven additional banks are cited but not named in documents made public as part of Barclays' settlement with the Financial Services Authority, the British banking regulator.

Deutsche Bank (DB), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Credit Suisse (CS), Citigroup (C, Fortune 500), JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) and UBS (UBS) are among the banks that have acknowledged they are being investigated.

Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) is also reportedly being investigated but has not made any public statements about the scandal, and a spokesperson declined to comment.

After Monday's close, Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) announced it would take a $6.2 billion writedown on its aQuantive acquisition. It purchased the online advertising company in 2007 for $6.3 billion in cash.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar fell against the euro and rose versus the British pound and Japanese yen.

Oil for August delivery rose $3.84 to $87.57 a barrel.

Gold futures for August delivery gained $24.40 to $1,623.20 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 1.62% from 1.58% late Monday.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 24,668.35 -218.46 -0.88%
Nasdaq 7,375.54 -50.42 -0.68%
S&P 500 2,714.36 -18.93 -0.69%
Treasuries 2.96 -0.04 -1.40%
Data as of 11:08am ET
Company Price Change % Change
General Electric Co 14.45 0.27 1.94%
Bank of America Corp... 29.90 -0.54 -1.76%
Micron Technology In... 60.44 0.48 0.79%
Advanced Micro Devic... 13.10 0.00 0.01%
Hewlett Packard Ente... 15.32 -0.26 -1.64%
Data as of 10:53am ET
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