Monday's afternoon trade: Wall Street rises modestly
US shares rose modestly in Monday trading, continuing a recovery from a brief correction that ended Friday as investors focused on hopes for easing tensions between Ukraine and Russia. Consumer staples shares led the gains, with a 1 percent increase for that sector. The best performing name was food service company Sysco Corp, which rose 3.7 percent after its results.
Copyright Reuters, 2014
Gains were broad, with nine of the S&P's 10 primary sectors up in trading. The rally extended gains from Friday, when the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average posted their best day since March on news Russia would cease military exercises near the Ukraine border. The market seemed little affected by news Russia would send an aid convoy to eastern Ukraine, a move Western officials have said could serve as a pretext for an invasion.
Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned that he still sees a "high probability" that Russia, using the guise of a humanitarian mission, could intervene militarily in Ukraine. "From a fundamental standpoint, the big reason why we bounced back so sharply was because a big piece of geopolitical concern has been somewhat alleviated by the news of a Russia pullback," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York.
"So far, the markets have been holding up pretty strong, with the bulls showing up last week and defending support levels." Stocks also climbed as the United States continued air strikes against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq over the weekend and as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed talks mediated by Egypt on Monday. Kinder Morgan Inc shares jumped 10.8 percent to $40.00, hitting all-time highs. The energy company said on Sunday that it would put all its publicly traded units under one roof in a $70 billion deal, an amount including $27 billion in assumed debt.
The company's other units, Kinder Morgan Partners, Kinder Morgan Management, and El Paso Pipeline Partners , also rallied. The J.P. Morgan Alerian exchange-traded note tracking energy master limited partnerships rose 3.6 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 55.1 points, or 0.33 percent, to 16,609.03, the S&P 500 rose 10.39 points, or 0.54 percent, to 1,941.98 and the Nasdaq Composite added 37.75 points, or 0.86 percent, to 4,408.65.
Shares of companies developing potential treatments for the Ebola virus rose amid growing calls to expedite research funding and drug approvals. US-listed shares of Tekmira surged 13 percent to $23.40, Sarepta Therapeutics gained 5.9 percent to $22.35 and NanoViricides was up 0.5 percent to $4.30. Also up was Priceline Group Inc, which rose 2.7 percent to $1,316.06, after the company said quarterly revenue rose 26 percent. Chiquita Brands International Inc climbed 31 percent to $13.18 in its biggest one-day advance since its 2002 trading debut. Juice maker Cutrale Group and Brazilian investment firm Safra Group offered to buy the company.