STOCKS RALLY, DOW GAINS 240: Here's what you need to know

Stocks rebounded after the Dow clocked its worst losing streak in four years on Friday. After opening in the green, stocks advanced through the trading day, with the blue-chip index gaining as many as 250 points. Energy stocks rallied more than 2%, as well as oil prices.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 17,610.55, +237.17, (1.37%)
  • S&P 500: 2,103.59, +26.02, (1.25%)
  • Nasdaq: 5,102.47, +58.93, (1.17%)

And now, the top stories on Monday:

  1. Berkshire Hathaway announced its largest-ever deal. It is buying Precision Castparts for $US37.2 billion and offering shareholders $US235 per share — a 21% premium to Friday’s closing price. Shares of Precision Castparts, which makes metal components that go into aircraft engines and industrial gas turbines, gained 19% to as high as $US231.47. “I’ve admired PCC’s operation for a long time,” said Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett in the statement. “For good reasons, it is the supplier of choice for the world’s aerospace industry …”
  2. In an interview on CNBC, Buffett said “stocks are going to be higher.” He likened owning stocks to owning a home, saying that if homeowners expected prices to fall 5%, they wouldn’t sell their homes in hopes to buy it back for 5% less. They are in for the long haul. He also said it would be “very tough” for the Fed to raise rates next month, as many in the market expect. Low rates in Europe and concern about weakness internationally may keep the Fed on hold.
  3. Oil prices rallied. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures climbed more than 2% in New York to as high as $US45.01 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, gained 3% to $US51.09, logging its biggest intraday advance in a month. Energy stocks on the S&P 500 climbed nearly 3%.
  4. Shares of Aquinox Pharmaceuticals rocketed more than 300% after the company reported positive trial results for a drug that treats bladder-pain syndrome. Trading in the stock was halted at least seven times. After the announcement on Friday, the stock rallied by up to 400%, and it has now gained over 1000% from Thursday’s closing price. Moves of this magnitude are not all that rare for pharma stocks, as expectations for earnings are sometimes hinged on one key drug that passes through several trial phases. The stock received a price target boost from a Cowen analyst, to $US14 from $US3, on improved chances of the drug’s success.

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