Hamilton Journal News

Stocks rally, S&P 500 has its best day since June

- By Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga

NEW YORK — Wall Street kicked off March with a broad rally Monday that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average more than 600 points higher and gave the S&P 500 its best day in nine months.

The S&P 500 climbed 2.4%, clawing back nearly all of its losses from last week. More than 90% of the stocks in the benchmark index rose, with technology, financial and industrial companies powering a big share of the S&P 500’s gains. Small company stocks also had a strong showing as they continue to outpace the broader market this year.

The wave of buying came as investors welcomed a move lower in long-term interest rates as U.S. bond yields declined after surging in recent weeks. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.43% after reaching its highest level in more than a year last week.

Higher interest rates can slow the economy and discourage borrowing, so Wall Street gets jittery when there’s a big surge in rates.

“It moved really fast, the interest rate rise, and now it’s sort of leveling out so people are relieved that it’s not continuing to move up at a really fast pace,” said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager with Globalt Investment­s.

The S&P 500 rose 90.67 points to 3,901.82, it’s biggest single-day gain since June 5. The Dow gained 603.14 points, or about 2%, to 31,535.51. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite climbed 396.48 points, or 3%, to 13,588.83.

The Russell 2000 index picked up 74.27 points, or 3.4%, to 2,275.32.

After a strong start to the month, stocks turned lower in the last couple of weeks of February after a sudden, rapid rise in bond yields fueled concerns about higher inflation. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed as high as 1.5% last week, the highest level in more than a year, before easing Friday.

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