The market indices are rallying solidly higher into the close and are challenging their intraday highs. After rebounding yesterday from support at its 160-day moving average, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has gained 181 points, or 1.4%, so far today. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP 2,596.4) is showing a 37-point gain, up 1.46%, and the S&P 500 Index (SPX 1,472.25) has risen 20.5 points, or 1.42%.
Volume is fairly muted and should continue to be so until next Tuesday's meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. At 3:29 p.m. Eastern time, 1.04 billion shares have traded on the New York Stock Exchange; 694 million on the Nasdaq.
Unlike yesterday's hesitant afternoon gains, today's positive momentum is broad and therefore should have a leg to stand on in the tumultuous final half-hour of trading. There are 2,395 stocks in positive territory at the NYSE, compared with 865 losers, for an advance/decline ratio of 2.77. At the Nasdaq, there are 2,026 advancing stocks compared to 907 decliners, for a ratio reading of 2.23.
The new highs/new lows picture isn't quite as rosy. On the Big Board, there have been 47 new highs today and 46 new lows. New lows have outpaced new highs on the Nasdaq, 74 to 43. Some of the names on today's new-highs list include Nokia (NOK), Procter & Gamble (PG), ImClone Systems (IMCL), and Baidu.com (BIDU). Hitting today's new-lows list are, among others, King Pharmaceuticals (KG), Alcatel-Lucent (ALU), Kohl's (KSS), and Shuffle Master (SHFL).