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U.S. Stocks Close On High Note On Falling Bond Yields, Rising Stimulus Optimism

wallstreet up 032918 01mar21 lt

U.S. stocks rose sharply on Monday, buoyed by data showing a notable surge in manufacturing activity in the country, and on rising hopes about additional stimulus after the House passed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill on Saturday.

The market also reacted positively to news that Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) single-shot Covid-19 vaccine received emergency use authorization from the FDA on Saturday, paving the way for its distribution.

A drop in Treasury yields contributed as well to the bullish sentiment in the stock market. The yield on the benchmark ten-year note is moving lower for the second straight session after ending last Thursday's trading at its highest closing level in a year.

Yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury Note eased to almost 1.4 percent today, after having surged to 1.6 percent last week.

All the major averages ended the session with handsome gains. The Dow moved up 603.14 points or 1.95 percent to settle at 31,535.51, the S&P 500 climbed 90.67 points or 2.38 percent to 3,901.82, and the Nasdaq closed stronger by 396.48 points or 3.01 percent at 13,588.83.

On the economic front, the Institute for Supply Management released a report showing U.S. manufacturing activity grew at an accelerated rate in the month of February.

The ISM said its manufacturing PMI rose to 60.8 in February from 58.7 in January, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 58.8.

A separate report released by the Commerce Department showed U.S. construction spending increased by much more than anticipated in the month of January, rising by 1.7 percent to an annual rate of $1.522 trillion, after jumping by 1.1 percent to a revised rate of $1.497 trillion in December. Economists had expected construction spending to climb by 0.8 percent.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares climbed nearly 6 percent after the company said all its stores in the U.S. have been opened to the public for the first time since last March.

Boeing (BA) also ended nearly 6 percent up. General Electric (GE), Dupont (DWDP), Intel (INTC), Walt Disney (DIS), Goldman Sachs (GS), Honeywell International (HON), Cisco Systems (CSCO), Nike (NIKE), Visa (V) and Microsoft (MSFT) gained 2 to 4.5 percent.

In overseas trading, the major European markets closed sharply higher, riding on strong economic data, dropping bond yields and rising optimism about vaccine rollout.

Most of the markets across the Asia-Pacific region also closed on a firm note on Monday.

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