A $15 million buyback by IBM plus today's good retail news and higher commodity prices set off a third straight day of stock market gains. IBM sparked a tech rally, including big gains by Intel and Microsoft, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Dow gained 114.7 to close at 12,684.92, the Nasdaq 17.51 to 2,344.99, and the S&P 500 9.49 to 1,381.29.
"It is showing that IBM believes its stock is a good value at this price and is confident it is going to have the cash flow to perform this buyback,'' a strategist told Bloomberg. Stocks had fallen earlier in the session on gloomy news from the Labor Department and the Conference Board on producer prices and consumer confidence.