US stocks rise on the first day of a new month, amid some fresh money, and improving sentiment that a big, fat Greek bailout is in the works.
DJIA rises 79 (0.8%) to 10404, S&P 500 gains 11 (1%) to 1116, Nasdaq Comp jumps 35 (1.6%) to 2274. But it’s a bit of a head scratcher if you follow the dollar. The greenback rose against the euro and the pound, the latter got pummeled amid all kinds of anxiety over in England. Dollar gains have usually put pressure on stocks, but not today.
There are questions, too, about Greece. Investors were relieved just to hear that something is in the works. But it’s a long road from plan to implementation to success to a thriving European economy and happy, not-striking workers (the Greeks are planning another 24-hour strike for this week, incidentally.)
We don’t get that the data drove the market, or the M&A deals, for that matter. We’d put it on the new money/sentiment stuff. According to S&P’s Howard Silverblatt, from the end of 1999 to today, the S&P 500 is up 28% on the first day of the month — and down 24% overall.
Now, AIG seals deal to sell its Asian life-insurance unit to UK’s Prudential for $35B, and Germany’s Merck agrees to acquire Millipore. But foreign companies coming in and buying parts of American companies, even ones as universally reviled as AIG, doesn’t seem to be the stuff stock rallies are made of.