Dow at new 18-month highs

By Alexandra Twin, senior writer

NEW YORK ( -- Stocks gained Monday, pushing the Dow to its highest point in a year-and-a-half, after a report showing a rise in consumer spending added to bets about the strength of the economic recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) added 45 points, or 0.4%, ending at 10,895.86, the highest point since Sept. 26, 2008, when it closed at 11,143.13. The S&P 500 index (SPX) gained 7 points, or 0.6%. The Nasdaq composite (COMP) rose 9 points, or 0.4%.

How do you feel about your job?
  • Like it a lot
  • Stuck in it, but need the money
  • Can't stand it, looking elsewhere
  • Unemployed

"It looks like we have a nice, uplifting session, fueled by some end-of-quarter portfolio rebalancing in a holiday-shortened week," said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co.

The first quarter ends Wednesday and currently the Dow is up 4%, the S&P 500 is up 4.6% and the Nasdaq is up 5.6%. Dickson said that when stocks have had a positive quarter, end-of-quarter machinations tend to be positive, as managers look to play catch up.

Investors are also looking to get in ahead of a long weekend, with all financial markets closed Friday for Good Friday.

Stock gains were pretty broad based Monday, with 23 of 30 Dow components rising, led by Chevron (CVX, Fortune 500) and Exxon Mobil (XOM, Fortune 500). Energy and other dollar-traded commodity stocks rose, initially responding to a weaker greenback. However, the sector maintained its advance even as the dollar seesawed.

The euro has strengthened and global market have gotten a lift over the last few trading sessions as worries about Greece defaulting on its debt have waned. Last week, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to a loan package that Greece or other nations could access, should the need arise.

On Monday, Greece said it was moving forward with plans to issue a new seven-year bond.

Stocks have risen in six of the last seven weeks as investors have begun to factor in a stronger economic recovery, following a rough period between mid-January and early February. During that stretch, the S&P 500 lost over 9% and the Dow and Nasdaq lost more than 7% as investors worried that global debt woes and increased U.S. regulation of banks and financial markets might constrain growth.

Economy: Personal spending rose 0.3% in February, after rising 0.4% in January, the Commerce Department reported Monday. It was the fifth month in a row that spending rose. Results were in line with forecasts, according to a survey of economists.

Personal income was unchanged in February after rising 0.3% in January. Economists thought income would rise 0.1% in the month.

Company news: The Treasury Department said Monday that it is moving closer to selling its 27% stake in Citigroup, but didn't provide details about the timeline of any sale.

The government owns 7.7 million Citigroup shares, having acquired a controlling interest in the company after providing a $45 billion bailout in fall 2008 amid the height of the credit crisis. Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) shares fell 3%.

Ford Motor (F, Fortune 500) sold Volvo cars to Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group for $1.8 billion, the companies said Sunday. The deal is the largest purchase in history by a Chinese car manufacturer, but falls short of the $6.4 billion Ford paid for Volvo in 1999.

Avnet (AVT, Fortune 500) will buy Bell Microproducts (BELM) in an all-cash deal valued at $594 million including the assumption of debt. Avnet distributes electronic components and Bell distributes data storage and other computer component products. Avnet rose just short of 5% and Bell Microproducts rose 28%.

The dollar and commodities: The dollar gained versus the euro and the yen.

U.S. light crude oil for May delivery rose $2.17 to settle at $82.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

COMEX gold for May delivery rose $6.10 to $1,111.50 per ounce.

Bonds: Treasury prices fell, raising the yield on the 10-year note to 3.86% from 3.85% late Friday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

World markets: In overseas trading, European markets ended higher. London's FTSE rose 0.1%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.3% and Germany's DAX added 0.6%. Asian markets were also mixed, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng index up 2.2% and Japan's Nikkei index down 0.1%.

Global trading did not seem to be impacted by reports that suicide bombers set off explosions that hit two Moscow subway stations during rush hour Monday morning, killing at least 35 people. To top of page

Just the hot list include
Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.80%3.88%
15 yr fixed3.20%3.23%
5/1 ARM3.84%3.88%
30 yr refi3.82%3.93%
15 yr refi3.20%3.23%
Rate data provided
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 32,627.97 -234.33 -0.71%
Nasdaq 13,215.24 99.07 0.76%
S&P 500 3,913.10 -2.36 -0.06%
Treasuries 1.73 0.00 0.12%
Data as of 6:29am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 8.29 0.05 0.61%
Advanced Micro Devic... 54.59 0.70 1.30%
Cisco Systems Inc 47.49 -2.44 -4.89%
General Electric Co 13.00 -0.16 -1.22%
Kraft Heinz Co 27.84 -2.20 -7.32%
Data as of 2:44pm ET


Bankrupt toy retailer tells bankruptcy court it is looking at possibly reviving the Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us brands. More

Land O'Lakes CEO Beth Ford charts her career path, from her first job to becoming the first openly gay CEO at a Fortune 500 company in an interview with CNN's Boss Files. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.