Stocks bounced back following yesterday's decline, though it wasn't enough to extend the S&P 500's (^INX) winning streak to eight weeks.
One factor in the rally was St. Louis Fed President James Bullard's statement on CNBC that Fed policy would remain easy for a long time, allaying fears of an end to stimulative activity.
Additionally, Bloomberg cited sources close to the Fed saying that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was not particularly concerned about spawning asset bubbles, as had been reported recently.
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) was a notable winner today, rallying over 10% after the technology giant reported better-than-expected first-quarter results. We also saw outperformance in financials and small caps, with oil rebounding to finish in positive territory after an early decline.
In other earnings news, Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) and Interpublic (IPG) beat expectations, while Charter Communications (CHTR) disappointed.
Monday's Financial Outlook
On Monday, we'll see a host of earnings reports. Major names include 3D Systems (DDD), Lowe's (LOW), and FirstEnergy (FE) before the open, with Autodesk (ADSK), Caesars Entertainment (CZR), and URS (URS) coming after the close.
There are no economic reports scheduled.
One event that could drive volatility over the weekend will be the Italian elections, particularly in the case that former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wins. His anti-austerity leanings could mean a reversal in the progress that Italy has made over the past year.