Stocks Capturing Trader Demand on First Day of 2012 Trading

The markets are surging higher today on the first day of trading in 2012.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) is up 186 points, or 1.5%, to 12,404. The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) is up  18 points, or 1.45%, to 1,275, and the Nasdaq (NASDAQ:QQQ) is up 37 points, or 1.45%, to 2,643. These particular companies are seeing an accelerated change in stock price due to the following Tuesday news:

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F): Shares of major American auto stock are up 3.3% at $11.11 per share today. Analysts are reporting the Big 3 Detroit automakers are a very strong 2011 for auto sales. According to TrueCar.com, the month of December recognized over 1.2 million cars and trucks sold in the U.S., an increase of over 8% from the prior year.

Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN): Shares of the online coupon company are lower over 7% to $19 per share today. Susquehanna Financial survey a few hundred merchants regarding their experience with Groupon and their plans to work with Groupon on a daily deal in the next 6 months. The results were worse-than-anticipated, a catalyst for the stocks heading south in trading action. According to Reuters, 52% of the merchants polled said they are currently not planning to feature deals in the next six months.

Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM): The stock price of the Blackberry marker is climbing higher 7% of $15.61 per share today. Rumors are swirling on Wall Street the Canadian handset maker is plotting a management change where director Barbara Stymiest assumes the Chairman title from current co-Chairmen Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. In case you are curious about Barbara’s past, here resume reads as follows: She has an HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario and FCA from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario. Ms. Stymiest joined Royal Bank of Canada in 2004 and serves as a member of the Group Executive which is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the company. Prior to that, she held positions as Chief Executive Officer at TSX Group Inc., Executive Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer at BMO Nesbitt Burns and Partner of Ernst & Young LLP (source: Reuters)

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): The innovative, consumer tech giant is seeing its stock price move up 1% to $409.26 per share today. The company is receiving a lift from the latest news out of Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) and its CEO Lou D’Ambrosio equipping the company’s salespeople with more than 5,000 iPads and 11,000 iPod Touches to better track customer orders and inventory (source: Bloomberg). Also, there is buzz around the new learning that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will conduct a media event later this month in New York. Insiders think the event will focus on publishing and eBooks.

General Electric (NYSE:GE): The industrial giant’s shares are surging north almost 3% today. On a positive note, NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA) announce it sold out its commercials for the Super Bowl at an average cost of $3.5 million for a 30-second spot, with some time slots netting as much as $4 million (source: Associated Press)

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com