Today's a good day to buy a few stocks, at least that's what most investors on Wall Street and in Europe decided.
No doubt that encouraging results from Cisco Systems helped - the stock was up more than 16 per cent today. And a better-than-expected US jobs report didn't hurt either, with claims for US unemployment benefits unexpectedly declining last week to the lowest level in four months.
Investors are desperate for some good news after the roller coaster they've been on in the past couple of weeks amid debt crises in the US and Europe. And stocks are relatively cheap after the slide most have experienced amid the turmoil.
The Dow Jones industrial average is up 423 points, or 3.9 percent, to 11,143. It's the first time the Dow has ever had four straight 400-point days.
The S&P 500 is up 51, or 4.6 percent, to 1,173. The Nasdaq is up 111, or 4.7 percent, to 2,493. All three major U.S. stock indexes are down at least 1.6 percent for the week.
Even in Europe, where concern about government budget deficits remains on the forefront of everyone's mind, investors found reason to pick up some bargains. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index ended the session with a 3.2 per cent gain.
"Shares look cheap," Henry Duisenberg, a senior strategist at Nordau Bank in Copenhagen, told Bloomberg News. "There's no news out there suggesting investors should worry any more or less than yesterday."
On the currency front, the Swiss franc plunged against the euro amid talk of temporary peg between the two. Swiss National Bank Vice President Thomas Jordan said that a temporary peg was a potential way to curb the strength of the franc, which has set records against the euro and the US dollar as investors like its safe-haven appeal.
The franc shed as much as 6 per cent to 1.0921 per euro. It last traded at 1.0840. Against the greenback, the franc dropped 4.7 per cent.
Also plunging were 30-year US Treasuries amid concern that inflation would pick up speed, and erode the value of fixed-income securities.
The 30-year bond yield soared 23 basis points to 3.75 per cent at 2.23pm in New York, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader prices.
Consequently, today's auction of US$16 billion of 30-year debt drew only tepid demand.
"The players that play in the long end don't feel comfortable with all of the uncertainty that has to be factored in," Jason Rogan, director of US government trading at Guggenheim Partners, a New York-based brokerage for institutional investors, told Bloomberg.
"No one is worried about short-term inflation, but with all the printing that has been done and with the possibility of more stimulus needed there is an expectation for a lot more cash that will be added to the system, and at some point that means an inflation problem," he said.