Stronger-than-expected consumer optimism and impressive earnings from major industrials led stocks to multi-year highs today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rocketed 115.49 points, or 0.93 percent, to 12595.37. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index rose 12 points, or 1 percent to 1347.24, while the Nasdaq Composite added 21.66 points, or 0.77 percent, to 2853.
The S&P 500 reached its high for the year while the Nasdaq Composite was just short a new 10-year peak after reports indicated the second strongest consumer confidence reading since the start of the recession. Also pushing stocks higher was the show of industrial strength demonstrated strong earnings numbers from General Electric (NYSE: GE), up 1.1 percent and Cummins (NYSE:CMI), up 8 percent. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) added .77 percent and Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) rose 2.7 percent, while 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) added 1.93 percent after its best earnings quarter in 13 years.
Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) made headlines after climbing 11%followinh reports showing higher traffic in early 2011 that exhibited the airlines strength. Other airlines also climbed on the optimistic news, with US Airways Group (NYSE: LCC) 5.8 percent higher and the ailing Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) rising1.7 percent.
Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) sunk 1.2 percent after earnings were slightly short of analyst estimated while powerhouse, Netflix Inc. (NYSE: NFLX) was 8.8 percent lower for the day amid reports pointing at a weak quarterly outlook as evidence the company is on its way down.
Crude oil did not change much, closing at $112 while the U.S. dollar continues to weaken against the euro and the yen.