After the recent poor performance of the markets, today the indices were rising despite the angst about the big bomb in Afghanistan and the tension from North Korea. The markets have been down for three out of the past four weeks with the major indices at two-month lows, the Russell 2000 Index down this year and the XLF, which represents the largest financial stocks, having dropped 10% from the record high on March 1st.

The overnight and early morning trading was certainly anxiety-ridden, but as the market got closer to the opening, the markets improved and closed up nearly 1% for the day. The DOW climbed 183 points, the S&P 500 gained 20, and the NASDAQ added 51 points today. 

Today’s positive sentiment might have been helped by the G.D.P. growth in China. It came in at 6.9%, which was better than expectations and showed that their production of steel was strong. This could mean that there will be more construction projects underway in that country.

The VIX finished lower today to 14.66, a drop of 8%.  Bond yields were about the same…with the 10-year Treasury Note at 2.23% after falling to as low as 2.21% early this morning. Gold was lower at $1,286 an ounce on the geopolitical worries. Crude oil gained a little to $53.17 a barrel.

Donald M. Selkin

These are excerpts from Don Selkin’s Daily Market Notes, abbreviated and updated with permission from the author. Don Selkin is the Chief Market Strategist at Newbridge Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC and provides the Fair Value analysis for CNBC each morning.  The commentary provided in this Market Letter is intended to provide timely market analysis and should not be considered a research report.  This Market Letter may contain, and is limited to: Discussions of broad based indices; Commentaries on economic, political or market conditions; Technical analyses concerning the demand and supply for a sector, index or industry based in trading volume and price; Statistical summaries of multiple companies’ financial data, including listings of current ratings; and, Recommendations regarding increasing or decreasing holdings in particular industries or securities.  This Market Letter does not make a financial or investment recommendation or otherwise promotes a product or service of the firm.   This Market Letter contains only news, facts, and commentary on information previously reported from a news source believed to be accurate and reliable by the author.  These news sources include the following: Bloomberg Financial, Reuters, and the Associated Press.