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Minyanville's Market Recap: Microsoft and Crude Surges, Markets Rally!


Crude oil hit a new high, but the markets were not afraid. Stocks end in the green.

Positive earnings news helped U.S. stocks rally. The Dow Industrials gained +0.99% to 13806, the S&P 500 gained +1.38% to 1535, and the Nasdaq composite added +1.94% to 2804.

Tech shares had a strong performance today. The sentiment was boosted in part by positive earnings news by Microsoft (MSFT). The company reported after the bell yesterday blowing away analyst estimates for the first quarter. Dr. J noted on the Buzz that the stock soared the most in six years in the premarket. MSFT proceeded to close up +9.50%. Other notables include Yahoo(YHOO) +9.38% and Baidu (BIDU) +6.12%. While Microsoft stole the show today, read Professor Krueger's other play in the tech sector, Nintendo's Simple Secret.

Financials had a strong day as well. Merrill Lynch (MER) CEO Stan O'Neal was reportedly in the hot seat after he floated the idea of a merger with Wachovia (WB) without first getting board approval. Merrill stock surged +8.52% to $66.09. Notable performances include Goldman Sachs (GS) +4.09%, Lehman Brothers (LEH) +6.15%, and Bear Stearns +4.65%. For more on the situation brewing at Merrill, read Professor Depew's Five Things You Need To Know.

Commodities made headlines as crude oil rose above $92 a barrel amid rising tensions in the Middle East and supply not keeping up with demand. News from Alberta certainly didn't help prices. The Canadian province increased royalties on energy companies from 47% of revenue to between 56% and 66% depending on the price of oil. (From WSJ) Toddo noted the warning signs of supply in the equity markets as he pointed out the lagging performance of the Oil Service Sector index (OSX) with respect to the price of crude. The OSX proceeded to close -0.66% to 192.22 with crude settling in at +0.45 to 90.91. For more, read Toddo's Random Thoughts and Professor Limantour's An Update on Energy, Food, And Inflation.

Along with crude, metals rose as well. Gold added +16.60 to 784.10. Silver added +0.37 to 14.21, and copper added +0.054 to 3.534.

For more summaries, have a look at Minyanville's Buzz Bits and Professor Tuttle's Winners & Sinners.

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: MSFT, VCLK, BLK, SCHW, SYMC, MFE, INTC, RVBD, CML, INFN, AMAT, BIDU, SPX, BKX, HAL, CELG, POT, YHOO, PCU, LULU, GSS, WFR

Some bearish trade or investment ideas: MER, SPX, HBC, AIG, VDSI, HD, FMD

It's been a long week. Have a great weekend, Minyans!
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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