Oil stole the limelight amid rumours about tapping strategic reserves, and the S&P 500 crossed the 1400 mark for the first time since 2008. But first, your scoreboard.Dow: 13,253; +59; +0.44%
NASDAQ: 3,056; +15; +0.51%
S&P 400: 1,403; +8; +0.60%
Now for your top stories:
- U.S. economic data came in strong this morning. The number of weekly initial jobless claims beat expectations, with 351K new claims filed, down from 362K in the week before. That indicates the lowest number of people applying for unemployment in four years. Producer prices rose 0.4 per cent in February, more or less in line with expectations, buoyed by energy prices. DEBT CRISIS SHOCKER: The US Is No Longer Completely Screwed >
- We also had a bunch of new data from the Federal Reserve regional banks. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey rose to 20.2 in March from 19.53 last month. That exceeded economist predictions of a drop to 17.50. The March Philadelphia Fed Index also came in above estimates, jumping from 10.2 to 12.5.
- European markets closed mostly higher, with the DAX rising +0.92 per cent and the CAC up +0.44 per cent. The euro rose during the day but remained under $1.30 at the close of U.S. trading.
- Greece’s second bailout and debt restructuring finally came together today, with the IMF agreeing to supply the troubled country with €28 billion ($36.6 billion) in loans, €1.65 billion ($2.15 billion) of which will be released immediately. Standard & Poor’s affirmed that the country is still in selective default but said that new bonds issued as part of its restructuring deal with private creditors would be rated CCC. BRAND NEW NUMBERS: Here’s Who’s Footing The Bill For Greece’s Default >
- Reuters sent the price of oil diving to $103.78 per barrel when it reported that the U.S. and U.K. were planning to release oil held in their Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to mitigate the effects of high oil prices on economic growth. That report was later denied by an Obama aide,however, and oil recovered much of its losses. OIL, CHINA, LIES, BIKE LANES: Jim Rogers Tells All To Business Insider >
- BONUS: The 15 Most Expensive Single Shares In The U.S. Right Now >