Big rally on Wall Street
Major gauges surge as M&A news, earnings, tech sector strength give a big boost to stocks.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Stocks surged Monday, bouncing back after last week's sell-off, as investors eyed a pair of big deals and some upbeat earnings and decided to scoop up recently battered shares.
The Nasdaq composite (up 41.45 to 2,061.84, Charts) jumped 2 percent, scoring its second-best day of the year on a percentage basis. The tech-fueled index closed at a 14-month low Friday.
The Dow industrials (up 182.67 to 11,051.05, Charts) rose around 1.7 percent, reclaiming the 11,000 mark. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 (up 20.62 to 1,260.91, Charts) index also added roughly 1.7 percent.
Treasury prices held steady, and the dollar rose versus other major currencies.
Oil prices climbed; the price of gold fell.
Also after the close, Netflix (Charts) reported higher quarterly earnings that beat estimates and higher quarterly revenue that missed estimates. The company kept its full-year forecasts unchanged, which disappointed some investors. Shares slumped 20 percent in after-hours trading.
Tuesday also promises the July read on consumer confidence and the June existing home sales report.
Gains were broad based, with 29 out of 30 Dow components rising and 94 of the Nasdaq's 100 biggest stocks posting advances.
"The strength today is more than welcome, but the markets remain extremely volatile," said Ted Weisberg, a New York Stock Exchange floor trader at Seaport Securities.
Volatility has defined market action of late. Last Wednesday, the Dow surged 200 points after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke seemed to imply that the central bank's interest-rate-hiking campaign was nearly over.
But stocks headed straight back down during the next two sessions, amid ongoing worries about corporate profits and the Mideast. Monday brought another big swing up.
Weisberg said that the market was likely to continue in a volatile mode for the time being.
"Because there is a certain lack of investor confidence, it doesn't take much to trigger a big move one way or the other," he added.
The absence of negative news and a lot of good domestic news all helped to spark the rally, said Barry Hyman, equity strategist at EKN Financial Services.
He said that there were also technical factors supporting gains on the Standard & Poor's 500 index, and that could help bring in more buyers over the short term.
However, worries about slowing economic growth and higher interest remain and are not likely to ease much until at least the next Federal Reserve policy meeting Aug. 8, he added.
"You get a little good news and the market will respond, but I wouldn't get aggressive yet, there's still a lot of confusion out there," Hyman said.
Oil prices turned around in the afternoon, rising on concerns about a hurricane heading toward the Gulf Coast and comments from U.S. officials casting doubt on the enforceability of any cease-fire in the Middle East.
U.S. light crude oil for September delivery rose 72 cents to settle at $75.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
On the move
HCA (up $1.61 to $49.48, Charts) agreed to a $21 billion leveraged buyout by a private equity group and members of the company's founding family and current management. That sent shares of the hospital owner up more than 3 percent Monday in active New York Stock Exchange trading.
Advanced Micro Devices said it would buy graphics chipmaker ATI Technologies for $5.4 billion. Shares of AMD (down $0.87 to $17.39, Charts) lost about 4.8 percent and topped the New York Stock Exchange's most-actives list. ATI (up $3.11 to $19.67, Charts) shares rose 18.8 percent and topped the Nasdaq's most-actives list.
Dell Computer (up $0.84 to $20.75, Charts) rose more than 4 percent after Citigroup upgraded it to "buy" from "hold," according to Reuters. The upgrade follows Dell's profit warning Friday, with Citigroup saying that any slowdown is already fully reflected in analysts' earnings estimates on Dell.
Investors also eyed a number of upbeat quarterly profit reports, including Dow component Merck (up $1.59 to $38.95, Charts). The drugmaker reported higher quarterly earnings that beat estimates and also boosted its outlook for the full year. Shares gained 4.3 percent.
Market breadth was positive. On the New York Stock Exchange, winners beat losers by more than 4 to 1 on volume of almost 1.57 billion shares. On the Nasdaq, advancers beat decliners nearly 3 to 1 on volume of 1.95 billion shares.
Treasury prices were little changed, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note at 5.04 percent, about the same as late Friday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
The dollar gained versus other major currencies.
COMEX gold for August delivery fell $7.10 to $616.30 an ounce.