Dow gains nearly 400 points


Stocks began the last week of February in the green, with the Dow Jones industrial average rising 393 points, or 1.55%, to close at 25,703.20.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed up 1.15% and 1.14%, respectively.

Warren Buffett seemed to catalyze the day’s rally, as his comments on airlines sent the sector higher and Berkshire Hathaway’s tax gains from the recently passed reform law sent its shares up as well.

Treasurys also continued their gains, pushing yields lower, two days after Buffett laid out a bearish outlook for bond markets in coming months.

“It is a terrible mistake for investors with long-term horizons… to measure their investment ‘risk’ by their portfolio’s ratio of bonds to stocks,” Buffett wrote in the February 24 letter. “Often, high-grade bonds in an investment portfolio increase its risk.”

In Buffett’s mind, a diversified portfolio of equities progressively becomes less risky than bonds over extended periods of time.

Tech stocks also got a boost, with Netflix reaching a record high above $US300 for the first time. The streaming stock has outperformed the rest of the FAANG’s in 2018 so far. Apple finished up more than 2%, with Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook also gaining more than 1% in trading.

In commodities, steel and aluminium producers got a bump in early trading Monday after President Trump reportedly told White House confidants he will support a 24% tax on imported steel and a 10% tax on imported aluminium.

The possible tariffs are something “other countries could easily follow,” said Nomura analyst Jordan Rochester said “It would be an action that no country has crossed since World War II, opening the way to a trade war.

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