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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dollar's Downward Drift Broadly Lifts Stocks

Dow +105.81 at 10144.19, Nasdaq +29.54 at 2177.41, S&P +10.34 at 1078.47
[BRIEFING.COM] Participants continue to take their cues from the dollar, which surrendered a strong gain against a basket of foreign currencies to give both stocks and commodities a broad-based lift.

Stocks actually started the session on weak footing as the Dollar Index made its way from a moderate loss to a healthy gain. The move led many to dismiss a relatively pleasing weekly jobless claims report, which featured a larger-than-expected decline in initial jobless claims to 440,000 and a continuing claims tally of 4.54 million -- a one-year low.

Participants also shrugged off China's softer-than-expected January consumer inflation reading, which helped Hong Kong's Hang Seng spike 1.9% (Japan's Nikkei was closed). The news wasn't cheered as much in mainland China, where the Shanghai Composite tacked on an unimpressive 0.1%.

Leaders from the European Union finally stepped forward to officially announce that financial assistance will be made available to Greece. No specific plan was provided, though, so many continue to speculate how much money will be involved and whether aid will extend to other countries that currently face fiscal challenges. Unlike earlier this week, the notion of such support failed to bolster the euro, which in turn gave the greenback room to run.

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