January 18th, 2012 Market Recap with Apple, Oil, Home Builders Updates

**IMPORTANT: Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs (including me here at StockTradingToGo) already oppose SOPA and PIPA.

Google, Wikipedia, and thousands of other sites made their opposition very clear today. Wikipedia blacked out its entire site for the day (screenshots). Learn more at Google’s action site and please consider signing the petition against this legislation.**

Today’s speed summary comes to us via Yahoo Finance,

Stocks jumped to their highest since July on Wednesday as the International Monetary Fund sought to help countries hit by the European debt crisis, while forecast-beating earnings from Goldman Sachs dispelled some worries over bank profits.

Bloomberg highlighted today that less than 50% of S&P 500 companies posting earnings are exceeding expectations. However, as Mark noted today on MarketMontage, the market doesn’t care. The trend is pointing up, and until that changes it is a tough spot for bears.

Also interesting today, Apple (AAPL) shares closed at fresh all-time highs of $428.94. Apple is valued at $398.96 Billion as of today’s close. Not too bad at all. Stay frosty out there and I will see you back here tomorrow.

And last but not least an updated look at the Home Builders ETF (XHB) which continues to be on the move and now is just under its 52 week high of $19.21.

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