Markets closed up on Wall Street today:
- Dow +0.65 percent
- S&P +1.03 percent
- Nasdaq +1.10 percent
- Oil -0.01 percent
- Gold -1.52 percent
On the commodities front:
- Oil (NYSE:USO) fell to $100.95 a barrel
- Gold (NYSE:GLD) down to $1,724.70 an ounce
- Silver (NYSE:SLV) down 2.08 percent to settle at $32.01
Today’s markets were up because:
1) France and Germany: Leaders of the euro zone’s two largest economies hammered out a joint proposal today for a more economically unified Europe days ahead of a crucial summit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will propose a new treaty that demands closer economic integration and tougher policing of fiscal rules when they meet with other European Union leaders at a summit in Brussels on Friday.
Speaking after the meeting, Sarkozy said the “Franco-German agreement is very complete” and will be “written up in a letter and presented to [European Council President] Herman Van Rompuy on Wednesday.”
2) Standard & Poor’s: The indexes were all up around 1.5 percent earlier in the day on news that Merkel and Sarkozy had come to a quick and decisive agreement on creating a tighter fiscal union, but pulled back in the mid-afternoon after a Financial Times report suggested that Standard & Poor’s will put Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and Luxembourg — all of the euro zone’s AAA-rated members — on “creditwatch negative” later Monday. That would mean the countries have a 50 percent chance of being downgraded within the next 90 days.
3) Banks: Bank stocks were leading the broad advance this morning, and remained the market’s best performers through close. JPMorgan and Bank of America posted the Dow’s biggest gains, while shares of Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs all tacked on from 2 to 7 percent by closing bell.
[Editor’s note: the above is a cross post that originally appeared on Wall St. Cheat Sheet.]