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Close Update: Stocks Strengthen As Fears Of June Rate Hike Soothed by Dudley, Job Report

After a rough start on worries that slower economic growth would permeate corporate profits, Wall Street went back on the offensive, fueled by expectations that Friday's weak jobs report will encourage the Federal Reserve to shelve a June rate hike. New York Fed President William Dudley this morning articulated the mood across Wall Street that the downside risks to the economy from cheap oil, a strong dollar and changes to the labor market will preclude the Fed from raising rates, driving the Dow and S&P 500 above key technical resistances, and the Nasdaq Composite over 4,900.

The catalyst for today's strong performance were comments from Dudley during a speech in New Jersey. Dudley said he believes that the economy will only grow at a 1.0% rate for the first quarter, evidenced by soft economic reports, including the anemic 126,000 gain in March non-farm payrolls. Coupled with the detrimental impact from the "significant shock" from the strong dollar, and "meaningful drag" to the domestic oil industry from plummeting oil prices , the Fed will likely move its first rate hike to at least September.

The economic data was mostly mixed as the purchasing manager's index for the service industry rose by more than expected, but the ISM non-manufacturing index dropped to 56.5 from February's 56.9.

Finally, confirming the slowdown in the job market, the Labor Department's Market Conditions Index dropped to its lowest level since March 2012.

Tuesday's economic calendar is very light with only Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) at 10ET, and consumer credit at 3ET.

Here's where the markets stood at the close:

US MARKETS

Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 117.61 pts (+0.66%)

S&P 500 was up 13.66 pts (+0.66%)

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 30.38 pts (+0.62%)

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was closed

Nikkei 225 was down 0.19%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) VLTC (+68.44%) Carl Icahn increased his stake

(+) QURE (+47.03%) Announces deal with Bristol-Myers ( BMY ) over gene therapies for cardiovascular diseases

(+) MILL (+32.07%) Names former EQT executive Phillip G. Elliott as CFO

(+) INUV (+29.84%) Five board members increased their stake by 6,410 shares each

(+) PRXI (+18.78%) To merge with Dinoking

(+) CYTX (+13.79%) Lorem Vascular has received regulatory ok from China's Food and Drug Administration for the Celution System of medical devices

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) RESN (-40.32%) Development agreement with its first customer has been terminated and that it must pursue commercialization of its designs with this customer by working directly with the filter manufacturer.

(-) CBMG (-10.90%) Citron Research calls the company "a joke", says shares are only worth $5

(-) DGLY (-7.46%) Market disappointed with details of sponsorship deal for Kansas City golf tournament

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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