US Stocks Advance on Deals, Fed Outlook

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US Stocks Advance on Deals, Fed Outlook

US stocks buoyed by news on corporate deals and increasing confidence that the country’s first interest rate hike since 2006 would not happen until after the summer.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 84 points or 0.47% to 17965. The blue-chip index had at one time during the session added 100 points.

The S&P 500 Index, America’s benchmark index, edged up 4 points or 0.25% to 2086 points having peaked at 2089 points during the session.

The Index was helped up mostly by news that giant courier delivery service, FedEx corp. had made a 4.4 billion bid to acquire Dutch logistics service TNT Express. The News spurred FedEx’s shares to jump more than $4.47 or 3% up to $170 a share.

The technology heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 0.5% bolstered by gains by Axalta Coating Systems Inc after Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway agreed to purchase 20 million in its stocks from affiliate Carlyle Group LP.

The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index was up more than 1.8% on the day.

“The first quarter was obviously weak, and it’s going to get challenging to get the Fed to the position to hike rates considerably,” Yousef Abbasi, the global market strategist at JonesTrading Institutional Services LLC in New York, told Bloomberg.

“We’re closing in on earnings season that people have tempered expectations for. We’ll probably also see tempered guidance from management.”

With no top tier economic reports scheduled, the market strength was driven by reports of mergers and acquisitions. Investors and traders agree that the market now has turned to deal news and corporate results.

“The next market catalyst is going to be how earnings do against expectations,” Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network, which manages about $97 billion, told the Wall Street Journal.

“Still, we have an enormous earnings headwind ahead of us, and the market is wrestling with this,” he said.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com