Stocks Start Second Quarter With Strong Gains
The U.S. stock market followed a fairly predictable pattern on Monday and began the second quarter with strong gains. The market has closed higher on the first day of the quarter ten times in a row now as institutional money managers plow new assets into stocks.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had risen a little better than 52 points to 13,264. The widely watched blue-chip index traded in a range between 13,153 and 13,297.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) rose 0.73% to close at $141.84. Volume was slightly less than normal with around 138.7 million SPY shares trading hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 142.5 million.
The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (NASDAQ: QQQ), which tracks the performance of the Nasdaq 100, added 1.04% to close at $68.25. After today's rally, the QQQ has surged over 20% to start 2012.
Crude oil followed stocks higher on the day. NYMEX crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, climbed 2.07% to $105.15. ICE Brent contracts rose 2% to $125.34. In ETF trading, the United States Oil Fund ETF (NYSE: USO) registered a gain of 2.06% and closed at $40.04.
Precious metals also benefited from increased risk appetite. COMEX gold futures rose 0.33% to $1,677.40 while silver futures gained 1.57% to $32.995. The heavily traded SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE: GLD) added 0.49% to $162.94 on the session.
Interestingly, Treasuries also rose on Monday. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) gained 0.56% to $112.54. The yield on the 10-Year Note declined 2.3 basis points to 2.19%.
The U.S. Dollar was marginally lower on the day, which helped boost risk assets. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, fell 0.23% to $21.86. The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last trading at $1.3333.
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