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Dow surges, up and away for ASX and $A

Never content to sit idle for long, the Dow Jones Industrials Average (INDEX: ^DJI) has shown big swings the last few days.

Overnight the index jumped 1.6% or 194 points. Both the S&P and Nasdaq were up big as well. Here’s a look at how each fared.

Index

Gain/Loss

Gain/Loss %

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average +194 +1.6% 13,115
Nasdaq +54 +1.8% 3,043
S&P 500 +21 +1.6% 1,391

The Aussie dollar, ever the proxy for global risk, jumped three quarters of a U.S. cent to just below $US1.04.

Good-bye parity?

And just when you thought the Reserve Bank of Australia might cut interest rates by 50 basis points at their May 1 meeting…

The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEX: ^AXJO) and All Ordinaries (INDEX: ^AORD) are set for a strong start.

The big news
If the enthusiasm were to be distilled into two words, they’d be “Spanish relief.”

After the yield on the indebted nation’s bonds climbed above 6% yesterday, many investors feared the worst. But a strong showing from its 12-month and 18-month debt sales pushed the 10-year bond back below 6%.

Before declaring victory, investors would do well to watch the longer-term debt auction later in the week. A good or bad showing from the auction could easily result in another 1%-plus movement for the index.

Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) was in the limelight in the U.S. The company’s earnings report is pushed the shares higher on reports of 5% global volume growth. Today’s price puts it near 14-year highs, even despite concerns about rising sugar costs depressing margins.

Outside the Dow, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) jumped 5%, taking the Nasdaq along for a lofty 1.8% gain for the day. Some investors looked at Apple’s recent 10% pullback with fear, and called that a correction was due. It seems the company is only content squashing expectations, and answered back with a big gain for the day. Analysts have cautioned against lower iPhone sales in the second quarter, but they’re stating the obvious.

Warren Buffett disclosed to Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) shareholders he’d been diagnosed with  stage 1 prostate cancer, describing his condition as “not remotely life threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way.”

Here in Australia, today we have results from Bank of Queensland (ASX: BOQ), and  March quarter production and exploration reports from BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP), Resolute Mining (ASX: RSG) and Perseus Mining Limited (ASX:PRU).

The best approach
A little positive news can move the market in a big way. That’s why it pays to be ahead of the trend.

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