Benchmarks closed in the green on Monday for the third consecutive trading day. The day’s gains helped markets recover from the correction which occurred earlier this month after key indexes reached their best levels ever on Jan 26. As of Feb 26, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are down only 3.4%, 3.2% and 1.1%, respectively, from their January highs. The CBOE Volatility Index came at 15.97, its lowest settlement since Feb 2.
How the Benchmarks Fared?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) increased 1.6%, or 399.15 points, to close at 25,709.27. The S&P 500 rose 1.2% to close at 2,779.60. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 7,421.46, gaining 1.2%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 4.2% to close at 15.80. A total of 6.3 billion shares were traded on Monday, considerably lower than the last 20-session average of 8.36 billion shares. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 2.04-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.91-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.
Markets Rally for Third Straight Trading Day
All the key U.S. indexes rebounded and increased for the third consecutive trading day after entering correction territory earlier this month. The movement lacked specific catalysts, but some of the gains came after the Fed released its semi-annual monetary policy report on Friday ahead of the new Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s first testimony on monetary policy in the Congress on Tuesday.
In the monetary policy report the Fed sees the labor market is “little beyond full employment,” but wage gains will grow moderately. The report indicated that inflation will remain near or lower than Fed’s target rate of 2% this year. However, the semi-annual report did not throw any light on the number of rate hikes this year.
Additionally, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Monday that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will “do a lot of rate hikes” provided the Committee has enough data to support such a move. Bullard’s cautious tone was mainly because he argued that the economy is still in a low-inflation, low-growth “regime.”
Meanwhile, the Dow registered an increase of around 400 points. For the S&P 500 index, nine out of 11 sectors increased during the day. The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) jumped 1.6%, becoming the best performing sector among the S&P 500. The FAAMG stocks, Facebook, Inc. FB , Apple Inc. AAPL , Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN , Microsoft Corporation MSFT and Alphabet Inc. GOOGL increased 0.9%, 2%, 1.5%, 1.5% and 1.4%, respectively.
Berkshire Hathaway Cuts Liabilities
Shares of Berkshire Hathaway BRK.B rose 3.9% after the company reported $100 billion gain in unrealized equities, translating to massive reduced liabilities. Consequently, CEO Warren Buffett announced a $29 billion benefit from recent U.S. tax restructuring. Buffett said that in case the company fails to get any market bargains it is expected to return the cash to its shareholders.
Gains in Berkshire Hathaway had a positive impact on the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF), which rose 1.5% becoming the second biggest gainer among the S&P 500 sectors. Dow components, JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM and The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. GS advanced 1.2% and 1.7%, respectively. JPMorganhas a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), while Goldman Sachshas a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Stocks That Made Headline
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