Market Wrap: Stocks End Higher on Reduced Rate Hike Worries

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Dow Starts Week Off With Sharp Gains, Closing Over 250 Points Higher
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By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks rose Monday as expectations the Federal Reserve could hold off longer on raising interest rates offset concerns over Friday's surprisingly weak jobs report.

The jobs report was well below expectations, with data showing U.S. employers last month added the fewest jobs in more than a year.

%VIRTUAL-pullquote-The weekend allowed market participants to see the positive side of the weak Friday [jobs] number.%Underscoring the economic weakness, an ISM report Monday showed the pace of growth in the U.S. services sector fell in March to its lowest level in three months.

"The weekend allowed market participants to see the positive side of the weak Friday [jobs] number, which is that rates probably aren't going to rise very quickly," said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.

The Fed is expected to raise rates for the first time in almost a decade later this year if the economy, especially the labor market, keeps improving.

The S&P utilities sector, which tends to outperform in low interest rate environments, rose 1.3 percent, making it among the best-performing sectors of the day.

The S&P energy sector, up 1.8 percent, led gains as U.S. crude oil futures jumped 6.1 percent after Saudi Arabia raised its price for sales to Asia and estimates for crude buildups fell.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 117.61 points, or 0.66 percent, to 17,880.85, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GSPC) gained 13.66 points, or 0.66 percent, to 2,080.62 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) added 30.38 points, or 0.62 percent, to 4,917.32.

'Economy Remains Weaker'

The lackluster economic data also eased some concerns that the U.S. dollar would continue to strengthen and pressure the earnings of companies with international exposure.

"So far the data continues to suggest the economy remains weaker, not stronger," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York.

Adding to the day's bullish tone, New York Fed President William Dudley said the central bank will need to determine whether that jobs report foreshadows a more substantial slowing in the labor market, adding he expects the path of rate hikes to be "relatively shallow."

U.S.-listed shares of Amsterdam-based Uniqure (QURE) jumped 47 percent to $33.61 after a deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) to develop gene therapies for cardiovascular diseases.

Tesla Motors (TSLA) added 6.3 percent to $203.10 after it reported a 55 percent increase in deliveries in the first quarter.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,217 to 836, for a 2.65-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,505 issues rose and 1,262 fell for a 1.19-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The benchmark S&P 500 index posted 24 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq composite recorded 74 new highs and 25 new lows.

About 6.2 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, matching the daily average for the last five sessions, according to data from BATS Global Markets.

-With additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos.

What to watch Tuesday:
  • The Labor Department releases job openings and labor turnover survey for February at 10 a.m. Eastern time.
  • The Federal Reserve releases consumer credit data for February at 3 p.m.
8 Best Buys in April
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Market Wrap: Stocks End Higher on Reduced Rate Hike Worries
It may seem like a strange trio, but these three items are less expensive than normal this month. "April is soy awareness month," notes Teri Gault, CEO of The Grocery Game and expert in grocery savings and supermarket trends. "Because of this, many stores offer terrific sales on all sorts of soy items, so be sure to check your coupons and sales for specials." Ham is cheaper in the weeks leading up to Easter. Asparagus is cheaper because it's in season. Gault says to buy extra and freeze the green stuff for omelets, quiche and soup.
"For the best savings on Easter items, wait until after April 5 to stock up on holiday-related merchandise," advises Kendal Perez, savings expert with He says you can save 50 percent or more on consumer favorites, including those adorable Peeps and all-things Easter decor. "The savings will only get deeper as the month progresses, though the inventory will plummet as well."
The thought of taxes may send you into a nervous, stressful panic, even if you're getting a refund. To help placate the masses, "many businesses give their own 'tax breaks' on April 15 by offering deals and freebies to their customers," says Howard Schaffer, vice president of "Look for deals in a variety of businesses, especially restaurants and fast food chains."
Speaking of taxes, many business are founded in mid-April, just after Tax Day. "Newly formed organizations require office supplies, so expect office supply stores to have sales on office furniture, furnishings and desk supplies," says Jon Lal, CEO and founder of
"April is the best time to score a deal on vacuum cleaners," says David Bakke, consumer expert at "Retailers target the notion of spring cleaning and therefore offer these machines at discounts." This is also the month that new models are introduced, so last year's models are likely on sale. Consider shopping at a second-hand store for recently donated vacuum cleaners, as people replace their old ones.
"Cruel as it my have seemed, spring apparel debuted in February, tempting us with pretty florals and lightweight fabrics despite still-frigid temperatures," says Perez. "Typically items go on sale two months after they arrive, so mid-April offers both price relief and more appropriate weather for spring's latest trends." Keep your eye out for markdowns between 20 and 40 percent off, and note that deeper discounts may show up in May (though stock will have dwindled by this point).
'Tis the season to cultivate your garden and reignite your green finger. Warmer weather makes for growing season, as you know. Not only will you find that seeds, garden-supplies, soil and the like are a plenty, you'll also find noteworthy discounts on all of the above. Not to mention, you'll save plenty of money by harvesting your own herbs and vegetables vs. buying everything in stores.
Many runners pick up their calorie-burning habit after the weather heats up, which is right around late March through April. Retailers have taken note of this trend and offer enticing deals. "Last year, for example, Finish Line offered a coupon valid through the end of April offering $20 off orders of $125 or more," says Perez.
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