A much better day than modest gains in the indexes indicate

The Standard & Poor’s 500 finished up 0.29% today. The tech- and bank-heavy NASDAQ Composite was up 0.54%. The Small Cap Russell 2000 was ahead 0.79%.

Always good to finish to the upside, of course, when you’re looking for the end of a dip (and assurance that it was just a dip.)

But the better news for the market as a whole came from individual stocks.

First, momentum favorites, which had led to the downside, bounced strongly to the upside. Nvidia (NVDA), for example, closed up 1.47%; Facebook (FB) was ahead 2.33%, and Arista Networks (ANET) finished up 3.30%

Second, many of these momentum bellwethers finished the afternoon higher than they’d been in morning trading. Autodesk (ADSK) had been up 1.51% at 11 a.m. this morning but finished up 2.65%. Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) was up 0.96% at 11 a.m. but ahead 2.37% at the close. Adobe Systems (ADBE) was 0.59% higher at 11 a.m. but showed a gain of 0.65% at the close.

None of this means the selling is done or that these momentum stocks are back through the end of the year, but I’m certainly glad to see a market where stocks rise in morning trading and more buyers come in even at those higher prices to bid stocks still higher in the afternoon.

Friday’s tone will be set by the November jobs report at 8:30 a.m. (which is expected to be a strong report) and tomorrow is a Friday so selling ahead of the weekend won’t be a surprise. But today will still go down as a positive session.