REUTERS/Ralph OrlowskiTraders dressed in a carnival costume toast with a glass of sparkling wine at the stock exchange on Shrove Tuesday in Frankfurt March 4, 2014.
It was a huge day for stocks.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,227.7 (+227.7, +1.4%)
- S&P 500: 1,873.8 (+28.1, +1.5%)
- Nasdaq: 4,351.9 (+74.6, +1.7%)
And now the top stories:
- Markets surged as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric eased up. “There has not been a shot fired in Crimea,” said Putin during a translated press conference. “The tense situation in Crimea, related to the possibility of the use of force, has been exhausted. There was no necessity of that.”
- But that’s not to say there’s peace on the Ukraine-Russia border. “We do reserve the right to use all the means to defend these people,” said Putin. “We believe and do believe that Ukraine … is our fraternal nation.”
- “[The] sell-off has taken the market to technically extreme oversold levels,” wrote Morgan Stanley’s Jacob Nell regarding Russian stocks. “Valuation multiples have only been cheaper at the depths of the 2008 crisis (when earnings fell by 60%). And oil markets are stable in contrast to sell-offs in Russia historically. Despite the obvious hit to growth expectations implied by the crisis, any sign that tensions are beginning to de-escalate would constitute a buying opportunity.”
- The S&P 500 got as high as 1,876.2, leap-frogging over Friday’s intraday high of 1,867.9. So, anybody who followed Warren Buffett’s lead and bought stocks during Monday’s sell-off would already be in the money. “We were buying it on Friday, but it’s cheaper this morning and that’s good news,” he said on Monday to CNBC’s Becky Quick.
- In his new monthly Investment Outlook, PIMCO’s Bill Gross argues that risk-assets like stocks could continue to rally as long as the world’s central banks have the confidence of the market players. “[I]f global central bankers can convince investors that their abnormal policies can recreate a semblance of the old normal economy, then risk assets at the outer edges of our circle will have higher future returns than otherwise,” he continued. “As long as artificially low policy rates persist, then artificially high-priced risk assets are not necessarily mispriced. Low returning, yes, but mispriced? Not necessarily.”