Stocks quoted in this article:
Right on the heels of an historically bullish January, U.S. stocks are broadly higher on the first trading day of February. In pre-market action, traders took their cues from a pair of stronger-than-forecast manufacturing reports out of the euro zone -- along with simmering speculation about a potential IPO from Facebook, which would follow in the footsteps of recent public trading debuts by fellow Internet heavyweights Groupon (GRPN), LinkedIn (LNKD), and Angie's List (ANGI). Meanwhile, in domestic economic news, traders are cheering an in-line payrolls report from ADP, with private-sector employers bringing on 170,000 new hires last month. The Commerce Department's report on construction spending was even more encouraging, with December's 1.5% gain roughly tripling consensus expectations. Thanks to these well-received headlines, the major market indexes are on track for their first convincing daily victory of the week.
At last look, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 12,780.53) is up 147.6 points, or 1.2%. The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,328.78) has added 16.4 points, or 1.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,850.85) has climbed 37 points, or 1.3%.
Checking in on Dow components, only McDonald's (MCD - 98.63) is sitting out the day's rally, down 0.4% this afternoon. Bank of America (BAC - 7.41) has jumped 3.9% to pace the 29 advancing blue chips.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 18.23) is 6.2% lower as we head into the second half of the session. As a result, the VIX is on pace to snap a two-day winning streak atop its 10-day moving average.
Among equities in focus, Dendreon (DNDN - 14.36) has rallied 5.7% after poaching CEO John H. Johnson from Savient Pharmaceuticals (SVNT). On the earnings front, Amazon.com (AMZN - 177.60) has tumbled 8.7% on the heels of its quarterly results, while AOL (AOL - 18.35) has surged 13.2% after topping fourth-quarter estimates. Over in the options pits, an upbeat demand forecast drew call buyers to Canadian Solar (CSIQ), while well-received earnings from U.S. Steel (X) also brought out the bulls.