The Dow has risen on the first day of the trading year for each of the past four years, from 2009 to 2012. The average gain was 171 points — sizable, but still much smaller than Wednesday's leap of 308.41.
In the midst of the euphoria, many investors remained cautious. The deal that politicians hammered out merely postpones the country's budget reckoning, they said, rather than averting it.
“Washington negotiations remind me of the Beach Boys song, ‘We'll have fun, fun, fun 'til her daddy takes the T-Bird away,'” Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of BMO Private Bank in Chicago, wrote in a note to clients.
“Nothing got solved,” added T. Doug Dale, chief investment officer for Security Ballew Wealth Management in Jackson, Miss.
According to these and other market watchers, investors were celebrating Wednesday not because they love the budget deal that was cobbled together, but because they were grateful there was any deal at all.
“Most people think that no deal would have been worse than a bad deal,” said Mark Lehmann, president of JMP Securities in San Francisco.
The House passed the budget bill late Tuesday, a contentious exercise because many Republicans had wanted a deal that did more to cut spending.
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Wednesday's broad stock market rally also benefited most of Oklahoma's publicly traded companies. The state's biggest gainer, Apco Oil and Gas International Inc., was up 20 percent and closed at $14.73 on the Nasdaq exchange. Meanwhile, Syntroleum Corp. rose almost 17 percent to close at 46 cents. Other stocks posting gains of more than 7 percent were Panhandle Oil and Gas Inc.; Southwest Bancorp Inc.; and GMX Resources Inc.
From staff reports