Stocks Get Lift From Greek News

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Includes: DIA, QQQ, SPY
by: Midnight Trader
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average up 72.81 (+0.57%) to 12,874.04.
  • S&P 500 up 9.13 (+0.68%) to 1,351.77.
  • Nasdaq up 27.51 (+0.95%) to 2,931.39

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

  • Nikkei up 0.58%.
  • Hang Seng up 0.50%.
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.01%.
  • FTSE-100 up 0.78%.

Stocks posted solid, if unspectacular, gains today, bouncing back from Friday's declines after Greek lawmakers this weekend approved 325 billion euro in austerity measures that other eurozone members demanded in exchange for rescue funds needed to avoid a default on Greek sovereign debt. Commodities also finished higher.

Financial ministers from throughout the European Union still need to sign off on the austerity plan as well as voting to release a 145 billion euro bailout package. That decision is scheduled for Wednesday, possibly keeping a lid on gains for U.S. equities on Monday.

President Obama also today formally released his $3.8 trillion budget proposal for the federal government's fiscal year beginning in October. He proposed increased spending for education and re-training as well as infrastructure projects in a bid to increase job growth. The package also boosts taxes on wealthier Americans, including counting capital gains as earned income while reducing some corporate tax rates. Republicans rejected the plan almost immediately, and most Congressional observers expect little action on the FY13 budget until after the November elections in a lame-duck session.

In company news, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) traded on both sides of $500 a share today, hitting new all-time highs even as the tech giant confirmed it has asked the Fair Labor Association to conduct audits of its suppliers, including Foxconn Technology Group factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China.

Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:RGEN) rose sharply Monday after the company predicted much stronger sales of its eye drug Eylea. Q4 Eylea sales were $24.8 million and the company said it now expects $250 million to $300 million in U.S. sales in 2012, up from its previous forecast of $140 million to $160 million in sales.

National Bank of Greece also rallied today, with ADRs rising up about 12% following the Greek parliament vote yesterday.

Commodities were mixed today. March gold settled at $1,723 an ounce, down 30 cents, after trading moderately higher during most of the day. Crude oil settled at $101.00 a barrel, gaining $2.33, according to preliminary CME data, although figures were delayed due to technical problems resulting in the crude complex re-opening at 3:15 p.m. ET with a 15-minute pre-open. The problem also disrupted settlements for natural gas futures.

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) DBD, Q4 profit tops Street; guides FY12 EPS $2.18 to $2.41, above analysts' $2.29.

(+) GNOM, Will provide whole human genome sequencing to Mayo Clinic.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) CHTP, FDA said to questioning clinical data for lead drug candidate ahead of vote later this month.

(-) CRD-B, Reports Q4 EPS of $0.03; Street expected $0.15 a share.