The stock market climbed Tuesday as a rise in consumer confidence and new peace talks between Russia and Ukraine sent stocks higher. Vaccine stocks popped after the Food and Drug Administration approved another round of booster shots.
The Nasdaq composite rose 1.4% and the S&P 500 gained 0.8% as technology, consumer discretionary and real estate sectors led the market. Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) rose 1.4%.
Apple (AAPL) rose 1.2% in heavy trading, climbing above the 176.75 buy point of a double-bottom base. The buy zone goes to 185.59.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5%. The small cap Russell 2000 jumped 2%. Volume rose on the Nasdaq and NYSE compared with the same time on Monday.
US Stock Market Today Overview
Last updated: 1:58 PM ET 3/29/2022
Consumer Confidence Rises, Yields Fall
Consumer confidence in the US rose for the first time this year as a strong labor market and waning concerns over Covid-19 offset concerns over rising inflation and the war in Ukraine.
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 107.2 in March from a revised 105.7 in February. The index broadly matches the 107.5 consensus forecast from economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.
“Consumer confidence continues to be supported by strong employment growth and thus has been holding up remarkably well despite geopolitical uncertainties and expectations for inflation over the next 12 months,” said Lynn Franco, The Conference Board’s senior director of economic indicators.
Meanwhile, the 10-year Treasury bond yield eased 6 basis points to 2.41%. While a lower yield is a positive sign for investors in the short run, many investors and economists remain concerned about the flattening trend in the yield curve, which can portend an economic slowdown.
Staffing companies also got a boost Tuesday as a tight-labor market meant many businesses are looking to staffing companies to help fill their ranks. Robert Half (RHI) jumped 3.4% Tuesday and broke past its buy point of 120.99 from a cup-with-handle formation. But volume was weak.
TrueBlue (TBI) also climbed closer to a cup base entry of 33.01, jumping 2.7% Tuesday.
Real Estate, Vaccine Stocks Gain
Another drop in oil prices helped the stock market extend its advance. The price of US crude slid 1.7% to $104 a barrel after dipping below $100 early Tuesday.
Representatives of Russia and Ukraine are meeting in Turkey today on peace talks. Previous negotiations have been largely unsuccessful as the war turns more into a stalemate.
Real estate also gained, as a report showed home-price growth rose in January as the supply of homes for sale fell to a new low. The Real Estate Select Sector (XLRE) ETF rose 2%.
The Case-Shiller 20-city adjusted home price index rose 1.8% in January. That marked a pickup from the revised 1.4% increase the previous month, and it topped forecasts for a 1.4% increase. The inventory of homes for sale at the end of January slid to the lowest level on record since the National Association of Realtors began tracking total existing-home inventory in 1999.
Vaccine stocks jumped Tuesday after the Food and Drug Administration authorized another round of Covid booster shots for people age 50 and older.
This puts a fourth dose of the messenger RNA shots from Pfizer (PFE), with partners BioNTech (BNTX), and Moderna (MRNA) on the table for millions of people in the US People can receive the second booster four months after the first. The FDA also wants to allow immunocompromised people as young as 12 to receive a fourth Pfizer shot.
Moderna shares advanced 3.7%. BioNTech stock rose 3.5% and Pfizer shares crept 0.7% higher.
Stock Market Gains On Upbeat Corporate News
United Health Group (UNH) announced is acquiring LHC Group (LHCG). UnitedHealth Group dropped 0.8% on news that it plans to acquire LHC Group for about $5.4 billion in cash, or $170 a share. LHC shares shot up 6%. LHC provides at-home health care that costs less than nursing homes and some other types of facilities.
Nielsen Holdings (NLSN) shot up 21% after a group led by an Elliott Management division and Brookfield Asset Management (BAM) agreed to buy the company for $28 a share. The deal is valued at $16 billion including debt, The Wall Street Journal reported.
FedEx (FDX) rose 2.8% after the shipping giant said founder and CEO Fred Smith will step down and become executive chairman June 1. President and Chief Operating Officer Raj Subramaniam was named the new chief executive.
rival United Parcel Service (UPS) broke out of a cup-with-handle base with a 222.67 buy point. The buy zone goes to 233.80.
The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) was flat Tuesday.
Follow Michael Molinski on Twitter @IMmolinski
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