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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Stocks stage strong rally on day's big deals

UPDATED at 4:50 p.m.:

Stocks entered March like a lion, as all major indexes closed up strongly for the day, fueled by a day of big deals.

The Dow closed up .76 percent at 10,403.79

The broader S&P 500 closed up 1 percent at 1,115.71 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was the day's best performer, closing up 1.6 percent at 2,273.57. The day pushed both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq into positive territory for the year.

The day kicked off with the news of AIG selling off its big Asia insurance unit for $35.5 billion, a big step toward paying back taxpayers for the billions they've invested in the troubled insurance giant.

But that just got things started.

Germany's Merck bought Millipore, which makes biomedical research products, for $7.2 billion, adding optimism to the market.

And MSCI, in investment analysis firm, said it would buy corporate advisory firm RiskMetrics Group for $1.6 billion.

Stocks open up following AIG unit sell-off

9:54 a.m.: Stocks are up on the first trading day of May, following a big asset sale by troubled insurance giant AIG.

In the first 15 minutes, the Dow is up half of 1 percent.

The broader S&P 500 is up six-tenths of 1 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq is up seven-tenths of 1 percent.

AIG sold its Asian life insurance business to Britain's Prudential for $35.5 billion.

In other news this morning, January personal spending among U.S. consumer rose more than expected but incomes did not.

The Commerce Department said personal spending jumped up 0.5 percent in January but income only went up 0.1 percent. Forecasters expected a 0.4 percent rise in income.

The personal savings rate took a January step backward, as well, dropping to 3.3 percent from 4.2 percent in December. The personal savings rate had jumped to 4.3 percent for all of 2009, the highest level since 1998.

Follow me on Twitter at @theticker

By Frank Ahrens  |  March 1, 2010; 4:50 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker , Wall Street  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Comments

Wow! Stocks up, GDP way up, and unemployment moving...DOWN. Where are all the teabaggers and birthers? Must be hiding under their rocks.

I question the motives and loyalty of those who stubbornly align themselves against America's economic recovery.

Posted by: free-donny | March 1, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Stocks up, GDP way up, and unemployment moving...DOWN. Where are all the teabaggers and birthers? Must be hiding under their rocks.

I question the motives and loyalty of those who stubbornly align themselves against America's economic recovery.

Posted by: free-donny | March 1, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Do you read what you write? Read the line following 9:54am

Writing in Hindsight will get you boredom!

Posted by: kidvid | March 2, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Do you read what you write? Read the line following 9:54am

Writing in Hindsight will get you boredom!

Posted by: kidvid | March 2, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

If a strong economic recovery for America = boredom, BRING IT ON!

Today's results yield:

Dow 12 month return = +54%
Nasdaq 12 month return = +72%

Now, if the GOP would stop obstructing jobs bills and extension of unemployment benefits...boring though they may be.

Posted by: free-donny | March 2, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Could someone please explain to me why it is that when Ford Motor Company posts its strongest sales figures in a long time, its stock tanks??? I bought a ton at $2, it's at $12 now, but I doubt its price is based on sound economic information. WTF?

Posted by: swatkins1 | March 2, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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