Benchmarks posted modest gains on Monday, boosted by a rally in
healthcare and transportation stocks. The S&P 500 and the Dow's
modest gains helped the indexes to settle at record highs for the
fourth consecutive session.
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Ahead of Wall Street
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 0.2% to close at
17,613.74. The Standard & Poor 500 (S&P 500) increased 0.3%
to close at 2,038.26. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed
at 4,651.62; gaining 0.4%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index
(VIX) went down 3.4% to settle at 12.67. A total of 6.1 billion
shares were traded on Monday, lower than this month average of 7
billion. Advancers outpaced declining stocks on the NYSE. For 55%
stocks that advanced, 42% declined.
The blue-chip index closed at a record level for the 23rd time this
year. The S&P 500 also achieved its 39th record finish of
2014. Both the indexes went up over 7% in the last three
weeks, registering their best three-week performance since Oct
2011. The tech-laden Nasdaq too closed at a record high, the
highest level since Mar 2000.
Gains in healthcare stocks helped benchmarks close at record
levels. The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) gained 1%, the
highest among the S&P 500 sectors. Shares of drug manufacturer
AbbVie Inc. (
) increased 3.7%, the biggest percentage gainer among the S&P
500 components. Bio-tech stocks also rallied on Monday. Shares of
bio-tech companies such as Gilead Sciences Inc. (
), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (
), Amgen Inc. (
), Biogen Idec Inc. (
), Celgene Corporation (
) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (
) increased 0.5%, 0.9%, 1.8%, 2.2%, 1.5% and 2.2%, respectively.
The Health Care sector bounced back after being hit hard last
Friday. Analysts believe healthcare stocks probably went up due to
the pending review of the Affordable Care Act by the U.S. Supreme
Court. Healthcare stocks took a beating on Friday after the apex
court decided to hear a new challenge to a crucial part of the
Affordable Care Act.
Internet stocks too gained on Monday. Shares of Internet television
network provider Netflix, Inc. (
), online retailer Amazon.com Inc. (
) and online trading community eBay Inc. (
) increased 0.8%, 1.8% and 0.7%, respectively.
Other Internet stocks such as LinkedIn Corporation (
), Yahoo! Inc. (
) and FireEye, Inc. (
) gained 2.8%, 1.8% and 5.8%, respectively.
Gains in bio-tech and Internet stocks ensured a positive finish for
the Nasdaq. Meanwhile, gains among transportation shares lifted the
broader market. The Dow Jones Transportation Average climbed 1.3%,
to close at a record high of 9,068.48. Gains among transportation
shares were led by railroads and airlines. Shares of major
companies from the railroad industry such as Union Pacific
), CSX Corp. (
) and Kansas City Southern (
) increased 1.8%, 3.1% and 1.2%, respectively.
Shares of U.S. airline companies such as JetBlue Airways
), Delta Air Lines Inc. (
), United Continental Holdings, Inc. (
), American Airlines Group Inc. (
), The Boeing Company (
) and Southwest Airlines Co. (
) surged 4.2%, 1.6%, 1.2%, 1.5%, 0.2% and 2.3%, respectively.
boosted airline stocks. Prices of WTI crude oil and Brent crude oil
decreased 1.6% and 1.3% to $77.4 and $82.34, respectively.
However, decline in oil prices had a negative impact on energy
shares. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) declined 0.9%. The
sector was the biggest loser among the S&P 500 sectors. Shares
of key energy stocks including Halliburton Company (
), Chesapeake Energy Corporation (
), Baker Hughes Incorporated (
) and Schlumberger Limited (
) dropped 0.4%, 2.2%, 1.3% and 0.5%, respectively.
Shares of cable providers also dropped on Monday after U.S.
President Barack Obama said the Federal Communications Commission
should regulate broadband like a public utility. Shares of Time
Warner Cable Inc. (
), Comcast Corporation (
) and Cablevision Systems Corporation (
) plunged 4.9%, 3.9% and 1.7%, respectively.
Meanwhile, investors kept an eye on corporate earnings results.
Dean Foods Company (
) posted third quarter 2014 diluted loss from continuing operations
of 3 cents per share, less than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a
loss of 13 cents. Shares of Dean Foods surged 13.7%.
Shares of Toll Brothers Inc. (
) went up 2.3% after the luxury homebuilder's preliminary
fourth-quarter 2014 revenue jumped 29.3% to $1.35 billion, more
than analysts' expectations of $1.31 billion.
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