Stocks rally for a second day running, no small feat this month

Stock prices enjoyed healthy gains Monday, with the S&P 500 advancing 0.9% and NASDAQ up 1.4%. The Dow rose just 19 points or 0.1%, hurt by a 7% decline in IBM, one of its higher priced stocks (and therefore one of the more important in the Dow’s price-weighted average). IBM lopped 83 points off the Dow today, meaning that ex IBM the DJIA would have been up over 100 points or 0.6%. 24 of the 30 Dow stocks advanced Monday; 5 stocks other than IBM declined, with Cisco (-1.4%) and Caterpillar (-1.1%) the only other declines of note.
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It could have been worse: Dow trims Wednesday’s loss to 173 points

At its worst on Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down roughly 460 points or 2.8%, but it rallied back by the close to finish with a loss of “only” 173 points or 1.1%. With trading volume jumping about 25% on the NYSE and reaching peak levels in Treasury bonds, today’s trading at the open had the frenzied feel of the “flash crash” of May 2010, when stock prices gapped lower then higher in a matter of minutes. (Indeed, Bloomberg reported that the number of “mini crash events” totaled 179 in the first 15 minutes of trading, highest in two years.)
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