April 1st, 2010
08:07 PM ET

Dow and S&P 500 reach 18-month highs, treasurys dip

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

Dow, S&P 500 at new 18-month highs

The Dow and S&P 500 ended at fresh 18-month highs Thursday, but tech concerns limited the Nasdaq composite's gains ahead of a long weekend.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 70 points, or 0.7 percent, according to early tallies, ending at 10,927.07, its highest close since September 26, 2008, when it ended the session at 11,143.13. The blue-chip indicator rose to within 43 points of 11,000, a key psychological indicator, before pulling back.

The S&P 500 index gained 9 points, or 0.7 percent. The Nasdaq composite added 5 points, or 0.2 percent.

Stocks rose through the early afternoon as investors welcomed reports showing the pace of job losses is slowing and manufacturing is picking up both in the U.S. and abroad.

Treasurys dip on economic data, fresh supply

Treasury prices fell Thursday on strong economic data and an announcement of a fresh supply of government debt.      

What prices are doing: The benchmark 10-year note fell 3/32 to 98-1/32 and its yield rose to 3.87 percent from 3.82 percent late Wednesday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The 30-year bond fell 2/32 to 98-4/32 with a yield of 4.73 percent. The 5-year note fell 2/32 to 99-6/32 and yielded 2.59 percent. The 2-year note edged down 1/32 to 99-9/32 with a yield of 1.07 percent.

What's moving the market: A report from the Institute for Supply Management showed that manufacturing activity in March grew at the fastest pace since July 2004, boosting investors' appetite for risk and putting pressure on Treasurys, which are perceived as safe-haven investments.

Dollar dips amid high hopes

The dollar was mostly down against major currencies on Thursday as investors absorbed jobs and manufacturing data.      

What prices are doing: The dollar fell 0.5 percent on the euro to $1.357 and 0.6 percent on U.K. pound to $1.527. It strengthened 0.4 percent versus the Japanese yen to ¥93.841.

What's moving the market: The greenback lost earlier gains on the euro and British pound and rose against the yen, after upbeat jobs and manufacturing reports boosted investors hopes for a strengthening economy, lessening the appeal of the dollar as an investment.

Oil surges after jobs reports

Oil prices rose to a new 17-month high Thursday after jobs reports painted a picture of improving, although still high, unemployment in the U.S.

What prices are doing:  Crude oil prices for May delivery rose $1.11, settling at $84.87 a barrel on Thursday. Prices reached a high of $85.22 during mid-day trading

Oil prices are at their highest since Oct. 9, 2008 when crude settled at $86.59.

What's moving the market: Strong demand from China, India and the Middle East has driven oil prices up recently, analysts say. Reports on Thursday showed stronger-than-expected manufacturing growth in China in March, boosting investors' confidence that demand from the Asian country will continue, if not increase.

CNNMoney.com reporters Alexandra Twin, Hibah Yousuf, Chavon Sutton and Annalyn Censky contributed to this report.

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