A strong rally led by natural resources and tech shares helped markets to close in the green with the Dow nearing its psychological 12000 mark for the first time since June 2008. Tech stocks zoomed after chip maker Intel announced increased dividends and possible buy back of shares.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.92% to end at 11,980.52. The S&P 500 was up 0.58%, or 7.49 points, to close at 1,290.84 and, the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.04% to 2,717.55. On the New York Stock Exchange, breadth of the market was on the positive side as for every 2,114 stocks that rose, 882 stocks ended in the red. Volumes were on the lighter side with only 7.02 billion shares traded, the lowest level recorded this year.
Coming to the economic front, there were no releases on Monday that could have swayed the markets. However, the Treasury Department announced its plans to sell 465 million warrants in a order to purchase Citigroup shares, a move aimed at ending its $45 billion investment in Citigroup. A report from the National Association of Business Economics had helped natural resources and materials companies share prices rise after the report showed economists are more optimistic in their outlook about the job market and the economy. Consumer Confidence is later lined up for the day.
Coming to earnings news, American Express (NYSE:AXP) announced earning reports after market hours. The company posted earnings of 94 cents on revenues of $7.32 billion slightly missing the Street’s estimates. Share prices of bio-tech giant Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) fell 0.50% after the company reported their earning figures which slightly missed the Street’s expectations. Shares of Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) rose by 0.92% after the company reported better than expected earnings results. Mc Donald’s (NYSE:MCD) earnings figures was at par with expectations. Share prices of Mc Donald’s rose 0.5%. Share prices of Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN) fell 2.2% although the company posted better than expected results.
On a sectoral basis, tech and natural resources stocks were the primary gainers in Monday’s trade as chip maker Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) raised its dividend by 15% and announced it was buying back shares worth $10 billion as a move to reward investors. Shares of Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC) gained 2% after this development. Share prices of Nvidia Corp (NASDAQ:NVDA) rocketed up 11.4% to end at $24.76 after Barron’s reported significant increase in the price of the stock, that could well be doubled in this year. Alcoa Inc’s (NYSE:AA) share prices increased 4%, after the company’s chief executive reported continued increased demand for aluminum in 2011. Share prices of Vulcan Materials Co. (NYSE:VMC) and Sealed Air Corp (NYSE:SEE) both increased by more than 3% respectively.