Wall Street lit up with green arrows on St. Patrick's Day. Investors wore their shamrock-colored glasses Monday, focusing on a pair of upbeat economic reports, and the fact that there was no violence connected to Crimea's weekend vote to separate from Ukraine and join with Russia.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) jumped 181 points, snapping a five day losing streak. The Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rallied 34 and S&P 500 gained 17 points. Technical analysts are happy because the Standard & Poor's 500 (^GSPC) moved back above a key support level, after dipping below that line last week.
Two stocks rallied because they're being added to the S&P index. Biogen-Idec (BIIB) gained 4 percent and Green Mountain (GMCR) gained 2 percent. Both stocks have been red-hot. Green Mountain, in fact, has more than doubled in price. Investors jump on these S&P additions because they know all of the mutual funds that track the index will have to buy them later this week.
Leading the blue chip advance were Boeing (BA), IBM (IBM) and 3M (MMM) --all up about 2 percent. Yahoo (YHOO) gained 4 percent on news that Alibaba plans a U.S. IPO this year. Yahoo owns a 24 percent stake in the Chinese e-commerce giant. And Sina (SINA) rose 6.5 percent, as its Weibo unit said it will list in the U.S.
%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%Sticking with the China theme, electronic vehicle maker Kandi Technologies (KNDI) rallied 23 percent as quarterly results easily topped expectations. This is another stock with a fabulous year-over-year-gain –- it's up nearly 500 percent.
Another winner today: Hertz (HTZ) rose nearly 5 percent on a report it will spin-off its division that rents construction equipment.
Bucking the uptrend today, stocks that provide services and operate TV stations. Gray Television (GTN) tumbled 10 percent after a Wells Fargo downgrade. Others in the sector followed suit: Sinclair (SBGI) fell 8 percent, Nexstar (NXST) lost 9 percent, Lin TV (LIN) declined 4.5 percent.
And the Internet infrastructure firm VeriSign (VRSN) fell nearly 6 percent. There are concerns its contracts could be in jeopardy as changes are made in the management of Internet domain names.
What to Watch Tuesday:
Labor Department releases Consumer Price Index for February, 8:30 a.m.
Commerce Department releases housing starts for February, 8:30 a.m.
Federal Reserve policymakers begin a two-day meeting to set interest rates.
Oracle (ORCL) reports quarterly financial results after the market closes.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.
7 Most-Missed Tax Deductions and Credits
After Market: St. Patrick Drives the Bears Out of Wall Street
Our lives are busy, and taxpayers may forget what donations they gave last year may get them a bigger refund. If you cleaned out your bulging closet and dropped off clothing or household goods at your favorite charity, don't forget this may be deductible on your tax return.
Taxpayers taking a full course load and working toward a degree can receive education benefits through the American Opportunity Tax Credit for college expenses, but those who took even just one class to further their career may be able to take the tuition and fees deduction. With this credit, you can deduct up to $4,000 for tuition and fees, books and educational supplies for you, your spouse or dependents. This tax deduction is especially important to remember if you qualify because the offer expires after tax year 2013.
Taxpayers can deduct state income taxes, but what about people who live in states that don't have a state income tax? The state and local sales tax deduction is useful for those who don't pay state income tax because they can deduct sales tax paid on purchases. Even people who live in states that pay state income tax can benefit if they paid more sales tax due to large purchases. This is another tax that is going away after the 2013 tax year, so don't miss out on this one.
The earned income tax credit is a refundable tax credit given to filers who earn low- to moderate- income from their jobs. The credit can be worth up to $6,044, depending on income and how many dependents you have, but one in five tax filers overlook this opportunity, according to the Internal Revenue Service. You have to file your taxes in order to get it, so even if you make less than $10,000 (the IRS' minimum income filing requirement) you should still file your taxes.
If you were looking for a job last year, you may be able to deduct costs related to your job search – even if you didn't secure a new one. Job search expenses such as preparing and sending resumes, fees to placement agencies and even travel related to searching for a new job can be included.
This credit is often overlooked and seldom talked about, but if you have an income up to $29,500 ($59,000 for married filing jointly) you can save for retirement and get an tax credit worth up to $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for couples if you contributed to a qualifying retirement plan such as an individual retirement account or 401(k). The retirement savers tax credit is a win-win situation since contributions to your IRA may also be a deduction from income.
Taxpayers who weren't so lucky gambling last year should know that their losses can be deducted if they itemize their deductions. However, your amount of losses cannot surpass your winnings, which must be reported as taxable income. For example, if you have $2,000 in winnings and $4,000 in losses, your deduction is limited to $2,000. Make sure you have documentation such as receipts, tickets and other records to support your losses.