US stocks rose with optimism stemming from news of a cease-fire agreement between Ukraine and Russia, merger activity and pick-up in prices of oil.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.5% or 81 points to 17,943 in the afternoon. The S&P 500 index advanced 10.6% or 3 points to 2,082. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1% or 47 points to 4,848.
European markets gave stocks a lift after the German and French leaders brokered a deal to end the conflict of Ukraine with Russia-backed separatists. The DAX of Germany finished the 11th record close of the year after it rose 1.6% an the Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.75%.
Joe Spinelli, who heads the single-stock trading in the Americas for Deutsche Bank said, “The market really has changed its stripes in a positive way on its view of Europe. It definitely help from a sentiment perspective that you’ve got some resolution over Ukraine.”
In the S&P 500, the energy sector was leading gains, and it was lifted by a rise in crude oil. Materials and technology rose sharply.
Cisco systems was the top gainer in the Dow, while American Express lagged, dropping more than 6%.
The Nasdaq Composite rose to the highest level from 2000, assisted by a 1.6% climb in Apple Inc.
Market Watch quoted Ed Shill, chief investment officer at QCI as having said, “We expect 2015 earnings to come below last year’s earnings, so fundamentals do not support current high levels. But there are other forces driving this market, namely money flows, because US stocks are like the best house in a bad neighborhood. We expect some kind of tradable correction this year and that would be best for this market.”
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