Stocks Bounce Back on Greek Debt Optimism

A day after suffering their biggest losses of 2012, stocks rebounded today on optimism about the Greek debt crisis and on a U.S. jobs report that was slightly better than expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 78 points a day after losing 203 points. The S&P 500 was up 0.7% after falling 1.5% on Tuesday. The Nasdaq made the biggest move by percentage gain, climbing nearly 0.9%.

Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO) was among the day’s biggest gainers, surging 7.3% to $27 a share – the stock’s highest level since last June.

Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) also made a big move, climbing 5.7% to finish at its highest level since late July.

With a 6% gain, Hertz Global Holdings (NYSE: HTZ) also made a big move. At $14.47 a share, the rental car company is now up 23.5% for the year.

ADP reported this morning that the private sector added 216,000 jobs in February – just ahead of the 215,000 most economists were expecting. The number was a vast improvement over January, when the private sector added 170,000 jobs.

As for optimism over the Greek debt crisis, many now believe that the cash-strapped country may now be on the brink of completing the biggest sovereign restructuring in history in time for tomorrow’s deadline.

You’ll recall that doubts about whether the Greek debt mess could be resolved in time was assumed to be the driving force behind yesterday’s down market. Now that the situation in Greece has apparently seeped its way back into the American investor’s consciousness, it made sense that renewed optimism about Greece helped stocks rebound today.

Of course, things could turn around real quickly again if Greece misses tomorrow’s debt swap deadline. Stay tuned.

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