The market overcame bad news for Ireland and European debt, insider trading investigations , Korean crisis and a weak housing market for an S&P rally of 1.49%. NASDAQ is doing even better up 1.93% boosted by Apple (AAPL $315) up 2% and Amazon(AMZN $177) up 5.5%. Most retail stocks lead the wave higher. Keep in mind as we move through the retail high season that the NASDAQ components are more weighted toward retail than the  S&P especially if you consider that high fliers Apple and Amazon can be considered retail stocks rather than tech stocks.

Investors were optimistic about the retail outlook today and this was supported by a drop in jobless claims which fell 34,000 to 407,000. Most retail stocks were up and Tiffany (TIF $61) surged over 4.5% after beating forecasts.Other luxury retailers were also up Nordstrom (JWN $43.75) up 2% and SAKS (SKS $11.63) up 3%. Guess(GES $49.14 ) rose over 8% after reporting profits of 75 cents/sh. compared to 69 cents a year ago.Guess also raised its oulook.Retailers were stoking up promotions for Black Friday with many analysts expecting a big holiday season. Barclay’s chimed in predicting stronger than expected industry performance among high-end retailers as those customers are less affected by the recession and are enjoying the 2010 bull market. Footwear and apparel are very hot stock sectors.

Black Friday deals hitting a fever pitch – MarketWatch

Defensive  sectors were weak today include healthcare up 0.76% and utilities up 0.65%. Biotech stocks went along for the NASDAQ ride with some big movers among the small and mid caps.

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