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Market Recap: Stocks Continue Winning Streak


Tech shares and solars lead third consecutive rally!

Bulls rallied for a third consecutive session. The Dow Industrials added +178 points, or +1.45% to 12,552, the S&P 500 gained +18 points, or +1.36% to 1,367, and the Nasdaq Composite added +2.32% to 2,373.

Tech stocks led the rally today. Toddo noted the outperformance in the high beta names. "A general rule of thumb is don't shvit where you eat," he said, "another one is when banks and beta are pointing the same way, the markets will typically follow." Major names included Apple (AAPL) +3.54% to $129.30, Research In Motion (RIMM) +5.67% to $96.70, and Baidu (BIDU) +6.3% to $261.09. For more, read today's Random Thoughts.

Coca-Cola (KO) attempted to do its part in the rally today. The beverage giant beat expectations, reporting fourth quarter earnings of $0.58 per share, $0.03 better than analyst estimates of $0.55. Revenues rose 23.6% for the year to $7.33 bln vs. $7.01 bln cons with strong sales in China and Mexico and profits from Vitaminwater in the U.S. Yet shares settled -0.88% to $59.39.

Solar stocks sizzled as well. Shares of First Solar (FSLR) surged 30% to $228.46 after the company blew away expectations. Net income rose to $62 million, or $0.77 a share from $8.04 million, or $0.12 cents a share a year earlier. Revenues grew 26% year-over-year to $200 million. Analysts had expected $0.55 per share on $179 million in revenues. Professor Quint Tatro mentioned a number of other solar names that moved higher as a result of FSLR's numbers. Notable gainers included SunPower (SPWR) +12.25% to $80.12, Suntech Power (STP) +15% to $52.79, and MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR) added +5.2% to $80.93. For more of Professor Tatro's thoughts, read his article Reactionary Vs. Anticipatory Trading.

In economic data, Advance Retail Sales surprised investors with figures coming in +0.3% vs. expectations of -0.3%. Less Autos Sales increased +0.3% vs. +0.2% cons. Business inventories increased +0.6% vs. +0.5% cons. Notable retailers included Amazon (AMZN) +4.28% to $77.63, Crocs (CROX) +5.33% to $33.60, and Costco (COST) +1.41% to $65.68 For more on retail sales, read Professor Kevin Depew's What Is It And Should I Care? and Professor Mike Shedlock's The Trouble with Retail.

In commodities, crude oil gained despite a lowered forecast for 2008 global oil demand by the International Energy Agency. Crude oil futures settled +0.45 to 93.23. Gold pared its losses to settle -0.60 to 906.80. Silver added +0.045 to 17.295, and copper lost -2.95 to 352.55.

The dollar index gained +0.067 to 76.381.

For more on gold, read Minyanville Professors Kathy Lien and Boris Schlossberg's discussion Gold Reaching for the Sky.

For more summaries, click on Minyanville's Buzz Bits.

Below is a recap of some of the idea flow on today's Buzz & Banter. Please note that stocks may appear in both bullish and bearish categories, due to long and short term trades by our many Minyanville professors.

Some bullish trade or investment ideas: AAPL, GOOG, RIMM, LNN, CMG, LTD, UA, ARII, BSC, C, FSLR, WFR, STP, TXCO, ASH, CMG, MON

Some bearish trade or investment ideas: GLD, WYNN, AAPL, BX, BSC, GS, LEH, OIOH, Precious Metals

We're over the hump. Now excuse us while we go enjoy a Minyan feasting. Have a great night!

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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