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Stocks in U.S. equities markets soar amid speculation of rate hike delay

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Shutterstock photo - -- Stocks on the U.S. equities markets moved broadly higher on Monday, rallying after an early sell-off in response to Friday's disappointing jobs report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 117.61 points or 0.66% to 17,880.85, while the NASDAQ Composite Index and the S&P 500 Composite Index each rose by more than 0.5%. U.S. markets were closed on Friday for the Easter holiday after the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly report.

The economy added 126,000 jobs in March, ending a streak of 12 straight months of job growth exceeding 200,000. The soft data has fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve could delay lift-off for raising interest rates from June to possibly September or December. In addition, dovish comments from Federal Reserve Bank of New York president William Dudley regarding the Fed's data driven approach for raising rates spurred the early-day rally.

Led by gains in the Oil & Gas, Utilities and Industrials sectors, the S&P 500 gained 13.66 or 0.66% to close at 2,080.62. Stocks in the Oil & Gas sector rose by nearly 2% on the session, amid a nearly 6% increase in WTI crude futures on the day. All 10 sectors in the S&P 500 closed in the green on Monday. The NASDAQ Composite index, meanwhile, increased by 30.38 or 0.62% to 4,917.32.

The top performer on the Dow on Monday was Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), which rose 1.44 or 3.57% to 41.73 after closing on Thursday as the worst performer on the Dow. The worst performer on Monday was Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), which fell 0.46 or 0.46% to 99.18 after JP Morgan cut its forecast on the stock, ahead of the release of its quarterly earnings. Johnson & Johnson was the only stock on the Dow to close in the red on Monday.

The biggest gainer on the NASDAQ was VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP), which gained 0.40 or 7.45% to 5.77. VimpelCom finished just ahead of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), which rose 12.79 or 6.70% to 203.79 after posting a 55% gain in sales for the first quarter, its best quarter ever. The electric car manufacturer sold 10,300 vehicles during the first three months of the year, ahead of estimates of 9,500. The worst performer was Altera Corporation (NASDAQ:ALTR), which dropped by 1.89 or 4.37% to 41.22. Altera is down by roughly 7% since reports surfaced last month that a merger withIntel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) could be imminent.

The top performer on the S&P 500 was Transocean, which rose 1.51 or 10.07% to 16.50 after the strong gains in crude. The worst performer, meanwhile, was Hudson City Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:HCBK), which plunged nearly 8% to 9.66 after its potential merger with M&T Bank (NYSE:MTB) suffered another delay. The merger will not be completed by May 1, according to the banks, after the Federal Reserve said it is not in a position to review the transaction by April 30. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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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.

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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