Stocks surge as markets take Crimea vote in stride

|By:, SA News Editor

Investors brush off Crimea’s widely expected vote to secede from Ukraine - a peculiar complacency, considering the potential geopolitical ripples - to push stocks broadly higher in a short-covering rally after the weekend passed without military action or any strong economic action from the U.S. or western Europe.

Today's gains followed last week's 2% drop in the S&P 500 and may have provided an opportunity for bulls who have been looking for pullbacks.

NYSE Composite trading volume totaled ~2.7B shares, among the lowest full-trading days of the year; amid the weak volume, the VIX fell nearly 13%.

Action was supported throughout the day by leadership from techs, industrials and financials, some of its most heavily-weighted sectors, which all rose more than 1%; utilities trailed all other sectors, but still rose a respectable 0.6%.

Meanwhile, U.S. industrial production rose more than expected last month, supporting the notion that U.S. economic growth is still on track and that earlier weakness had more to do with bad weather than a lack of underlying activity.

Typical safe havens such as bonds and gold also showed little concern over the Crimea results: Selling in bonds pushed the yield on the 10-year Treasury up 3.5 bps to 2.69%, and gold futures fell 0.5% to $1,372/oz. after settling Friday at a six-month high.