June 29 - Summary of business headlines: Wall Street rallies 2-1/2 percent as Europe strikes a bank bailout deal; Investors look ahead to U.S. jobs data and Federal Reserve as consumers hit the brakes; U.S. listed shares of Research In Motion shed 19 percent as pressures mount. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Merkel blinks and Wall Street soars as Europe takes a major step towards tackling the debt crisis. A 277-point surge for the Dow is the second best of the month, but an 85-point jump for the Nasdaq is the best of the year. Those gains led to a 1.9 percent weekly rise for blue chips and a 1-1/2 percent boost for the Nasdaq. Progress on Europe's debt crisis and any hint of more stimulus from the Federal Reserve will set the tone for the coming quarter, says Stephen Guilfoyle of Meridian Equity Partners. SOUNDBITE: STEPHEN GUILFOYLE, U.S. ECONOMIST, MERIDIAN EQUITY PARTNERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "As we start off the third quarter next week, we start off right away with the jobs number on Friday. That will be pretty important given that we're going into the August 1st Fed meeting. It's probably their last chance if they're going to do something stronger than Operation Twist, something more aggressive than Operation Twist, that's probably their last chance to do so before the election." The final economic releases of the quarter offered little guidance on which way the Fed could go. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index ended June at a 2012 low, while consumer spending failed to rise for the first time this year. But manufacturing kept pessimism at bay: Business activity in the Midwest crept higher in June, with the jobs index at the highest in months. The stock of the day: Research In Motion. The stock lost almost one-fifth of its value one-day after a terrible earnings report and word its long-talked about BlackBerry refresh will be delayed - again. Sources say RIM is being pressured into some kind of deal. Going back to the markets, a major upswing in oil prices did not stop the quarter from being the worst in 3-1/2 years. As for Europe: stocks rallied to seven-week highs after an EU bailout deal ease borrowing costs for Spain and Italy. Conway Gittens, Reuters