Courtney Raio is a Managing Director for NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX).
Stocks rebounded from last week’s sell off on investors optimism that Euro Zone finance ministers will increase the size of the bailout fund for peripheral countries in the region. Also, Federal Reserve (“Fed”) Chairman, Ben Bernanke’s comments that the central bank is keeping its “foot on the accelerator“ for another possible round of quantitative easing (“QE3”).
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said it is important for the Fed to keep long term monetary policy “on the table” and positive, even though unemployment rates have come down. The Chairman also added that ultra low interest rates will further boost growth and productivity. Bernanke said the effect of unemployment insurance on the jobless rate is minimal, though it is an important part of the support system.
The National Association of Realtors reported that pending January home sales were showing an upward trend, since reaching a cyclical low last April. The index rose 2.0% to 97.0 in January from a downwardly revised 95.1 in December.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country might back plans for the temporary and/or permanent Euro Zone rescue funds. European finance ministers are due to meet in Copenhagen on March 30, on a proposal to combine the European Financial Stability Facility and the European Stability Mechanism.
Companies in the News:
Bloomberg reports Danaher Corporation (DHR) and Cooper Industries Plc (CBE) plan to sell their jointly owned Apex Tool Group, which could be valued at about $1.5 billion. Danaher closed at $55.00, up $0.63. Cooper Industries closed at $63.58, up $0.66.
Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ARNA) gained $0.64 or 27% after European regulators approved a marketing application for the company’s weight loss drug. Arena Pharmaceuticals closed at $3.01.
Tenet Health Care Corporation (THC) climbed 6% as the Supreme court takes up hearings on the heath care reform law this week. Tenet closed at $5.54, up $0.29.
Stifel Nicolaus raised its target on Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation (LGF) to $19 from $17.50 after the opening weekend revenues of the company's "Hunger Games" film exceeded expectations. The firm maintains a buy rating on the stock. Lions Gate closed at $15.18, up $0.65.
Deutsche Bank raised its price target on American International Group (AIG) to $40 from $35 at after meeting with management. According to Deutsche Bank, AIG could repurchase more of its own shares at a faster pace than previously anticipated. AIG closed at $29.06, up $0.79.
Cal-Maine Foods Inc (CALM) reported Q3 EPS $1.09, and Q3 revenue $303.7M. Even though Q3 results were better than expects, the company said it expects feed cost to remain high. Cal-Maine closed at $39.41, down $2.53.
Economic Reports: S&P Case-Shiller HPI at 9:00 a.m., Consumer Confidence & Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index at 10:00
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