Money Matters - Simplified

gains

U.S. markets climb

New York -- U.S. markets edged higher Wednesday on quick gains by Alcoa and Caterpillar Inc., each of which rose more than 2 percent.

The Shanghai composite index rose 2.78 percent, giving corporations with strong positions in China a boost. Financial firms looked weak, however, with shares of JPMorgan & Chase off 0.34 percent and Bank of America shares down 0.23 percent.

In early afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average added 75.58 points or 0.76 percent to 10,015.56. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 8.41 or 0.79 percent to 1,070.41. The Nasdaq composite index gained 24.33 or 1.12 percent to 2,194.90.

The benchmark 10-year treasury note lost 5/32 to yield 3.208 percent.

Buy Apple, Sell Microsoft

We all saw the passing ships last week. A buoyant Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) overtook a diminishing Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) to become the country's second-most-valuable company in terms of market cap.

Early gains slip away on Wall Street

New York -- A U.S. market rally spun into disarray late Wednesday, leaving the Dow Jones industrial average to close lower than it has since early February.

An early Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development report that upgraded economic growth projections among 31 major economies for 2010 and 2011 did not convince investors the global recovery was sound. Data released Wednesday showed U.S. home sales rose 14.8 percent in April compared to March and durable goods orders up 2.9 percent from the previous month. Still, negative sentiment prevailed.

Markets post solid gains Friday

New York -- U.S. markets moved solidly higher Friday after early losses that pushed the Dow Jones industrial average below 10,000 points for the first time since Feb. 8.

The downward trend sparked by debt worries in Greece continued unabated in Asia and Europe. U.S. stocks looked likely to follow suit, but investors moved in for bargains with markets 10 percent off their highs for the year, which is technically considered a correction.

By close, the Dow Jones industrial average added 125.38 points, 1.25 percent, to 10,193.39. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 16.10, 1.5 percent to 1,087.69. The Nasdaq composite index gained 25.03,1.14 percent, to 2,229.04.

Mid-Atlantic manufacturing makes gains

Richmond, Va. -- The Richmond, Va., Federal Reserve Bank said manufacturing in the central Atlantic states rose for the third consecutive month.

The Richmond Fed said manufacturing activity rose "at a solid pace" and expectations in the area remain "upbeat."

The broadest index in the monthly report, the seasonally adjusted composite index of manufacturing activity, "jumped 24 points to 30 from March's reading of 6."

The shipments index rose from 5 to 30, while the new orders index jumped from 31 points to 41 points, the report said.

In the critical index composite of employment, the average workweek index leaped from zero to 16 and the wage index turned positive, climbing from minus 3 to 6.

These Stocks Will Burn You

In his article " It's the Market's 10 Best Stocks," my colleague Tim Hanson pointed out the benefits of searching for the next multibagger success stories among the smallest of companies.

How Much Is Palm Worth?

Last week, Citigroup (NYSE: C) threw in the towel.

Markets post gains two straight days

New York -- U.S. markets edged higher Wednesday after the Commerce Department said housing starts rose 2.8 percent in January compared with December.

The annual rate of 591,000 housing starts beat expectations slightly, while building permits, predicting construction activity a month or two down the road, dropped 4.9 percent compared with the previous month.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed higher for the second consecutive day, adding 40.43 points, 0.39 percent, to 10,309.24. Dow component Home Depot Inc. was up 1.97 percent, while Bank of America shares rose 3.3 percent, while United Technologies Corp. shares rose 2.18 percent.

The One Stock You Must Buy

Stop me if you've heard this one. But the
onestock you
mustbuy is ... the next
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL),
Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN),
eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), and
Baidu.com (Nasdaq: BIDU), all rolled into
one.