After Market: Dow, S&P Hit New Highs as Russia Stays Quiet

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The Dow and the S&P 500 both jumped to record highs on Monday, and the Nasdaq bounced back from a recent bout of heavy selling.

The market was lifted by some merger activity, some optimism about the economy, and because Russia hasn't made any aggressive moves or statements following this weekend's autonomy vote in eastern Ukraine.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rallied 112 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) rose 18, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gained 72 points.

It was a good day for tech stocks, both old and new.

IBM (IBM), Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) all gained more than 1 percent. Adobe (ADBE), Texas (TI) Instruments and Oracle (ORCL) gained 2 percent. While many tech companies have had a rough go of it lately, Oracle is up 22 percent in the past six months.

Among the Internet and social media leaders: Facebook (FB) rose 4½ percent and Google (GOOG) added 2 percent. Twitter (TWTR), Pandora (P) and (CRM) all gained more than 6 percent.

Biotechs also rebounded. Biogen (BIIB), Regeneron (REGN) and Alexion (ALXN) all up about 5 percent. Alnylam (ANLY) rose 6 percent on word that it plans to file a new drug application for its hepatitis B treatment.

Tesaro (TSRO) jumped 21 percent after the successful completion of clinical tests on its drug to reduce the side-affects of chemotherapy.

But Allergan (AGN) fell 1-percent after officially rejecting Valeant's (VRX) takeover bid.

Pinnacle Foods (PF) said yes to a $6.6 billion offer from Hillshire Brands (HSH). Pinnacle makes the Birds Eye, Duncan Hines and Aunt Jemima brands. Pinnacle jumped 13 percent while Hillshire fell 3 percent.

But the deal boosted a number of other food stocks: Annie's (BNNY), up 5 percent; Boulder Brands (BDBD), up 5 percent, Aaron's (AAN), up 3½ percent; and Hain Celestial (HAIN), up 2½ percent.

Retail stocks gained on optimism that rising consumer sentiment will lead to more buying. Aeropostale (ARO) rose 7 percent, J.C. Penney (JCP) gained 4 percent and both Macy's (M) and Nordstrom (JWN) added 2 percent.

Elsewhere, VeriFone (PAY) rose 8 percent on a Forbes report that Apple will use the company's point of sale payment system.

But Core Labs (CLB) tumbled 12 percent. The energy services firm cut its earnings guidance for the quarter and for the full year.

What to Watch Tuesday:
  • At 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, the Commerce Department releases retail sales data for April, and the Labor Department reports import and export prices for April.
  • The Commerce Department releases business inventories for March at 10 a.m.
  • Fossil Group (FOSL) reports quarterly financial results after U.S. markets close.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

7 Simple Habits to Save a Pretty Penny (or $100)
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After Market: Dow, S&P Hit New Highs as Russia Stays Quiet
Have you ever heard of the 30-day rule? As a frugal guy, this is one of my favorite rules in spending. If you’re about to spend any more than $20 on something that is unnecessary, don’t. Instead, put the item down and wait 30 days to buy it. You’ll be amazed at how much money you save by not making unnecessary frivolous purchases.
I literally mean freeze your credit cards. It seems a bit extreme, but think of it this way. The average credit card comes with a 13 percent or higher interest rate. By simply not using credit cards as often, you’ll save a ton. So, get a plastic sandwich bag and put your credit cards in it. Fill it with water, zip it up and throw it in the freezer. Without easy access to those tempting pieces of plastic, you probably won’t use them as much. However, they’ll still be around -- in an emergency, you can retrieve them from the ice.
Have you ever looked around your house, seen a few items and thought, “I could have made that!” You probably could have. The only thing is, you didn’t. Instead you paid for it. From now on, before you buy something you think you can make on your own, give it a shot. I saved a little over a hundred bucks about two weeks ago. I needed a new bird cage for my fiancé’s doves. Instead of buying a cage for $200, I made one that was far bigger for less than $80.
Did you know that a clean air filter in your car can lead to 7 percent more fuel efficiency? That means at current gas prices, with a clean air filter, you’ll save about $100 a year, if you drive the average 10,000 miles.
How often on the way home from the office do you want to stop for a convenient quick meal? You’ve had a long day, and it feels justified. But it costs much more than a home-cooked meal. The answer is your slow cooker. Use it to prepare your meal in the morning on days you know will be rough. This way, you can skip the fast food and rush home to an already ready home-cooked meal.

Do you pay a maintenance fee for your bank account? Why? Tons of banks offer checking and savings accounts without them. Look to your local credit union or even switch to an online bank. When comparing your options, also look at the interest you can earn. Currently, I get about 3 percent on checking and about 3.4 percent on savings, but who knows what kind of great deals you can find?

I’ve had tons of options to sign up for customer rewards programs and I was just too busy. So, I didn’t sign up. Then one day, I realized that I was paying for rewards I wasn’t getting. The cost of the rewards obviously trickles down to the end consumer. So, if the end consumer doesn’t take part, he or she loses money in the process. Since I’ve signed up for every reward program around me, I’ve saved at least 20 or 30 bucks a month in rewards.

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