10:09 am

  Local News
  State / National / World
  Opinion / Letters
  Arts / Entertainment
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  DJ Designers
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
Stocks move higher on Wall Street
March 26, 2014, 05:00 AM By Steve Rothwell The Associated

NEW YORK — Stocks got a lift Tuesday as health care companies bounced back after a heavy sell-off.

Biotechnology stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose for the first time in five days after a sharp sell-off that was prompted by complaints from lawmakers over the cost of certain drugs. Merck and Boston Scientific were among the companies that rose.

The stock market has been flipping between gains and losses for the most of the month, as investors have bought stocks after every dip. While many investors are confident that economic growth will accelerate as the weather moderates following an unusually harsh winter, they are reluctant to push stock prices higher before seeing more evidence that the economy is picking up.

“The reasons to buy are certainly there,” said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Banyan Partners, a wealth management company. “People are afraid to jump the gun.”

The S&P 500 rose 8.18 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,865.62. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 91.19 points, or 0.6 percent, to 16,367.88. The Nasdaq composite gained 7.88 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,234.27.

Nine of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 ended the day higher. Industrial stocks rose the most, 0.9 percent, followed by the energy and health care sectors, which each gained 0.8 percent.

Biotechnology companies in the index rose 0.6 percent, led by Alexion Pharmaceuticals, which rose $3.32, or 2.2 percent, to $153. The index had lost 8.5 percent over the previous four days. The index has surged in the last year and is still up 45 percent over the last 12 months.

Trading was choppy on Tuesday. Stocks started the day higher, dipped into the red at midday, then rose steadily throughout the afternoon.

McCormick was the best performing stock in the S&P 500 on Tuesday. The company, which makes spices, seasonings and condiments, rose $3.69, or 5.5 percent, to $71.20 after reporting earnings that beat analysts’ estimates. The company also reaffirmed its outlook for the year.

Another big gainer was Sonic. The stock of the drive-in restaurant company jumped $2.31, or 11 percent, to $23.23 after the company posted earnings that exceeded the expectations of Wall Street analysts. Net income rose despite the unusually harsh winter weather.

There were also conflicting reports on the economy for investors to consider.

One report showed that fewer people bought new U.S. homes in February. Sales fell to the slowest pace in five months, a sign that the housing market has yet to recover fully from brutal winter weather, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Meanwhile, an index measuring U.S. consumer confidence rose to the highest level in six years, another sign that the economy’s prospects should brighten with warmer weather.

Mixed signals have undermined investor’s confidence in the economy after a strong fourth quarter last year suggested that U.S. growth was poised to accelerate, said Russ Koesterich, chief investment strategist for BlackRock. The S&P 500 has gained 0.3 percent this month, and is up 0.9 percent for the year.

“The investment thesis for 2014 was that the U.S. economy was going to start sprinting ahead,” said Koesterich. “It’s been a very sluggish start to the year ... people are not seeing the growth that they expected.”

Prices for U.S. government bonds fell. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 2.74 percent from 2.73 percent on Monday.

Crude oil fell 41 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $99.19 a barrel. Gold edged up 20 cents to $1,311.40 an ounce.

Among other stocks making big moves on Tuesday:

— Carnival fell $1.98, or 4.9 percent, to $38.02, after the cruise operator swung to a loss in the first quarter, stung by losing bets on the future price of fuel. Carnival’s adjusted results and revenue beat analysts’ expectations, but the company narrowed its full-year forecast and gave a second-quarter projection below Wall Street’s view.

— Walgreen rose $2.11, or 3.3 percent, to $66.42 after the company reported its fiscal second quarter earnings. The company said it plans to close 76 stores in the second half of its fiscal year. That’s a big shift from its previous growth strategy, which focused on opening locations to maximize convenience for its customers.



Tags: percent, company, after, stocks, index, tuesday,

Other stories from today:


Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
Return To Archives

Daily Journal Quick Poll
Do you think Gov. Brown should sign The End of Life Option Act, which allows terminally ill patients to end their lives with the help of a doctor?

Yes, it will allow those with terminal conditions to die with dignity
No, doctors are sometimes too hasty in determining someone is terminally ill
Not sure


US commander says Afghans requested US airstrike in Kunduz
WASHINGTON — Afghan forces who reported being under Taliban fire requested the U.S. airstrike that..
Three share Nobel medicine prize for tropical disease drugs
STOCKHOLM — A Chinese scientist who turned to ancient texts to discover a powerful malaria drug sh..
More >>  
©2015 San Mateo Daily Journal
San Mateo County employment ads