Dow 10K Lives to Fight Another Day

By Elizabeth Trotta

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — The major averages rose into the close Thursday with the Dow staying atop the psychological 10,000 level as increases in energy stocks helped to balance selling in financials. After a mostly lower session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ultimately rose 47.08 points, or 0.5%, to 10,062.94, while the S&P 500 added 4.54 points, or 0.4%, to 1,096.56. The Nasdaq also advanced 1.06 points, or 0.05%, to 2,173.29.

Immediately after the close, Google(GOOG Quote) and IBM (IBM Quote) both reported earnings that beat on the top and bottom line. Google shares traded more than 1% higher in the post market, while IBM, which also raised its outlook, saw shares fall more than 3% in after-hours activity.

Energy stocks were at the forefront of advances during the regular session, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index and Philadelphia Oil Service Sector Index gaining 1.5% and 2.2%, respectively. Those moves came as crude oil futures surged more than $2 to $77.58 a barrel on data released by the U.S. Department of Energy showing gasoline stocks fell by 5.2 million-barrels last week, far more than the 700,000-barrel drop expected
Financials continued to be the laggards, with the KBW Bank Index losing 0.7% after a duo of high-profile earnings from Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.

“It’s light, well managed profit taking before options expirations tomorrow,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist for Avalon Partners of the dip earlier in the session. “But basically I just think it’s a pause after yesterday’s rally and the fact that the Dow is trying to stay above the 10,000 is a good indication that it’s nothing more than a little technical setback, which is probably healthy for the market.”

“It’s just a question of, do we have the potential of some pause here? A little profit taking, sure, that may be what’s unfolding,” said Michael Strauss, chief economist and market strategist for Commonfund. “But you have to respect the trend that we’re in, just like you had to respect the trend that we were in a year ago.”

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