Led by banks, tech and an IPO, stocks rise

The financial sages have started calling the market grossly overbought on the near-term, but enthusiasm for stocks is exactly as high now as it was low six weeks ago. That optimism pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 96 points, or 1.2 percent, to 8,125 today.

Tech stocks like Microsoft (MSFT) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) were among the market's biggest gainers today, while Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) were among just a few Dow components that fell.


Some of the stocks making news today:

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) beat earnings at $0.40 EPS vs. $0.32 estimates, and revenues came in at $26.9 billion rather than the estimates of $22.96 billion. Despite Jamie Dimon being VERY cautious on the conference call, shares were up over 3% at $33.63 shortly before the close today.

Rosetta Stone (RST) priced a 6.25 million share IPO at some $18.00 per share, above the $15 to $17 expected price range. There was talk of a premium, but this stock was north of $25.00 shortly before the close today.

Starbucks (SBUX) took another downgrade today. We saw the coffee retailer get downgraded at UBS to a 'Neutral' from a prior 'Buy' rating after Deutsche Bank cut it to 'Sell' yesterday. Shares were actually back up to flat at $11.66 late in the day after being down 2% earlier.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) lost money with -$0.12 net EPS and -$0.03 EPS from operations. The estimate was a -$0.01 number, but investors are not used to losses here at Southwest. Revenues were also lower at -6.8% or $2.357 billion. Shares were down 7% at $7.07 late in the day.

Regions Financial (RF) filed its annual meeting presentation this morning in an SEC filing, and said it will report a profit for the quarter ended March 31, 2009. The estimate from Wall Street was -$0.42 EPS. So while this was very unclear and undetermined, shares soared today. This stock was up way over 30% at $6.97 late in the day.

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