Lennar, Genworth, AFLAC lead Wall Street charge

By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Traders bought up stocks fast and furiously on Monday, with Lennar, AFLAC and Genworth Financial leading the S&P 500.

Lennar Corp., (LEN) a home construction company, was the lead S&P stock at the market's close, with gains of about 13%.

Bob Tull, COO of Old Mutual Global Index Trackers, said that Lennar is riding a wave of optimism about the recovering housing industry, given the recent declines in mortgage rates and the dramatic rise in new home sales.

Genworth Financial (GNW, Fortune 500), a financial security company that sells long-term care and life insurance, and AFLAC (AFL, Fortune 500), an insurer with a talking duck for a mascot, both jumped more than 12%.

Tull said that both companies specialize in security, with AFLAC providing disability insurance for workers and Genworth providing retirement protection.

He said that AFLAC is benefiting from the fact that more people are returning to work and need disability insurance, while Genworth is feeding off fears that "retirement is a pipe dream."

AFLAC was one of the top players throughout the day. Earlier winners included American Education Services (AES, Fortune 500), a lender that provides student loans and financial aid; ProLogis (PLD), which leases industrial space; and SanDisk (SNDK), a maker of flash memory cards. All these companies gained at least 10% during the morning session.

Not surprisingly, the highest volume stocks were blue chips like Citigroup (C, Fortune 500), Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), Ford Motor (F, Fortune 500) and General Electric (GE, Fortune 500), following their trend from Friday. All of these stocks gained from 5% to 7%.

"With their stock at $4, you've almost got to believe that it's undervalued," said Tull, referring to the most-traded stock, Citigroup. "Anytime you've got a stock that's under $5 a share, there's a lot more speculative interest in it."

It was hard not to make gains. Within seconds of the opening bell, the Dow Jones industrial average surged more than 200 points. Just seven minutes into trading, the Dow was up 400 points.

The rally is fueled by a European rescue package of nearly $1 trillion from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

European banks traded on the U.S. stock market made significant gains. National Bank of Greece (NBG), Allied Irish Banks (AIB), The Bank of Ireland (IRE), and the Spanish banks Banco Santander (STD) and Banco Bilbao Viscaya Argentaria (BBVA), each made double-digit percentage gains. The Spanish banks rose about 20%.

Tull described the bailout package as the "most significant decision that [the Euro Zone] has made since the formation of the euro." He said that the banks are riding on "an implicit trust factor that this zone is going to stay together; it's going to be long term."

The worst performers included Dean Food (DF, Fortune 500), which lost more than 28% after posting disappointing earnings, and Moody's Corp., (MCO) which dropped nearly 7% after disclosing on Friday that it could face enforcement action from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The markets have experienced extreme volatility since Thursday, when the Dow went on a wild ride, taking an historic plunge of nearly 1,000 points before partially recovering to close down 348.

Citigroup denied rumors that a trading error on its part had sparked the furious sell-off. 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
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.