Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
U.S. stocks head for a meager first-quarter gain
First Published Mar 31 2014 08:08 am • Last Updated Jun 25 2014 11:10 am

New York » Stocks rose broadly in afternoon trading Monday as the market headed for its fifth straight quarterly gain. Microsoft led the technology sector higher.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 15 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,872 as of 3:25 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 134 points, or 0.8 percent, to 16,457. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 46 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,201.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

BROAD GAINS: Twenty-seven of the 30 stocks in the Dow average rose. Microsoft continued to rise after its Office for iPad software was released last week to highly positive reviews. Microsoft rose 96 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $41.15. The stock is up 8 percent this month.

HEALTHCARE DEAL: Johnson & Johnson accepted an offer of about $4 billion from the private equity firm Carlyle Group to buy its Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics business. J&J said the deal for the blood-testing unit should close by mid-year. J&J rose 70 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $98.15.

QUARTER END: Trading is expected to be heavier and more volatile Monday as investors close out their first-quarter positions. At the end of each quarter, fund managers will often sell their worst-performing stocks and buy more of their best-performing stocks in an effort to make their portfolios look better when investors get their quarterly statements. The phenomenon has the Wall Street nickname of "window dressing." If the stock market closes higher Monday, it would be the fifth-straight quarterly rise for the S&P 500.

"There’s a lot of re-allocation going on today," said J.J. Kinahan, chief strategist with TD Ameritrade.

YELLEN: In a speech, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Monday that she thinks the struggling U.S. job market will continue to need the help of low interest rates "for some time." Her remarks come after investors have grown anxious that the Fed might raise short-term rates starting in mid-2015. Yellen has previously suggested that the Fed could start raising short-term rates six months after it halts its bond purchases, which most economists expect by year’s end.

SIGNS OF LIFE: After getting hammered for days, biotechnology stocks were rising again. Gilead was up 3 percent, Vertex Pharmaceuticals rose 4 percent and Biogen Idec rose 3.5 percent. Investors had been pulling money out of biotech stocks for the last month and refocused on less volatile areas of the market such as utilities and health care. The S&P 500 Biotechnology Index is down 10 percent his month, even with Monday’s gains.




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.