AP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezApple unveiled its new smartwatch and other products on Monday.
Stocks rallied at start of the week on the sixth anniversary of the bull market.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow 18,005.9 +149.1 (0.8%)
- S&P 500 2,080.0 +8.8 (0.40%)
- Nasdaq 4,944.0 +16.7 (0.3%)
And now, the top stories on Monday:
- Stocks closed higher with no major economic data releases on Monday, after tanking in trading on Friday following the strong jobs report. As valuations continue to climb, investors have been asking Goldman’s David Kostin for trading strategies. He recommends stocks that offer investors cash through buybacks and dividends, stocks on the Nasdaq 100, and stocks on Tokyo’s Stock Price Index (TOPIX).
- Apple unveiled new products including its first smartwatch and a new MacBook Air in a media event on Monday afternoon. The world’s most valuable company by market capitalisation also announced an exclusive partnership with HBO for Apple TV, and ResearchKit, a new tool for medical professionals to collect their clients’ data through iPhones. Apple’s shares were higher but little changed near the close. They rallied through the event, climbing to as high as $US129.26 when CEO Tim Cook began to talk about the watch.
- The rally in oil prices will not last. That’s according to Goldman Sachs’ commodities analyst Damien Courvalin, who predicts that global production will pick up after a slowdown that’s lasted a few months due to bad weather. “While there are risks that the violence-related disruptions extend in Libya, normal weather in Iraq could see exports recover by 300 kb/d in March with Iran potentially adding another 265 kb/d in April,” he wrote in a note. Goldman is forecasting $US40/bbl oil over the next two quarters, with risk skewed to the upside. Earlier, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil climbed back above $US50 per barrel, while Brent crude fell as much as 2% to around $US58.60 a barrel.
- Shares of Lumber Liquidators continued tumbling after a number of class action lawsuits were filed against the company. The stock fell as much as 14% in afternoon trading and reached a 52-week low of $US27.82 a share. The lawsuits are related to reports in a “60 Minutes” episode that detailed apparent health and safety violations in Lumber Liquidators’ Chinese factories. The company has said its laminate flooring contain legally allowed levels of formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical.
- GoPro shares fell by more than 4% in trading, extending losses that began last week. Chinese electronics company Xiaomi announced a 16-megapixel competitor last week, plunging GoPro shares by around 5% on the news. In a note Friday, Morgan Stanley’s James Faucette wrote that the company will dominate the point-of-view camera industry for a long time, although it will face “aggressive competition” from rivals.
- Shares of General Motors rallied by nearly 3% after reports that it will announce plans to buyback shares. This follows calls from a group of hedge funds to return investors more cash. Last month, the company indicated that it intends to return a portion of its $US25 billion cash to investors.
- European government bond yields tumbled at the start of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program. Reports indicate that the bank bought bonds from several countries in the bloc on Monday. The ECB will buy around 60 billion euros in assets over the next 18 months to combat deflation.
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