The stock markets in the United States rallied driven by the surge of equities of biotechnology and energy companies today. The markets also benefited from the data showing an increase in construction, which boosted optimism regarding the strength of the economy.

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In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, James W. Gaul, a portfolio manager at Boston Advisors LLC said, “The economy seems to be fine and nothing is changing that narrative. The energy sector is up while oil is down. Maybe the thought is the sector fell too far, too fast. Health care is being led by biotechnology stocks…”

Two of the most influential policy makers at the Federal Reserve said a sharp decline in crude prices will boost spending and growth of the U.S. economy.

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fisher and New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley emphasized the positive impact of the steep decline in prices to the economy during their speaking engagement in separate events yesterday.

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At the Council of Foreign Relations, Fisher said, “I’m not very worried. The lower inflation that we’ll get from the lower price of oil is going to be temporary.”

The price of oil declined again today. The United States recorded the highest crude output in more than three decades. Market observers said crude already entered the bear market as they observed signs of slowing global demand.

Yesterday, data showed that China’s manufacturing index fell. Market observers are speculating that the People’s Bank of China may be preparing to implement further stimulus measures following the soft manufacturing data. Last month, the Chinese central bank reduced its interest rates.

The European Central Bank (EBC) is scheduled to review its monetary policy lates this week. ECB council member Jens Weidmann recently described the decline in energy costs as a mini stimulus package, and indicated that there is no need for the central bank to expand its current stimulus.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,879.55 (+0.58%)
  • S&P 500- 2,066.54 (+0.64%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,755.81 (+0.60%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,166.53 (+1.08%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,238. 35 (+0.17%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,742.10 (+1.29%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,934.08 (-0.30%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 17,663.22 (+0.42%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,654.30 (+1.23%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,923.94 (+3.69%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Biogen Idec inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) climbed mire the 6% to $328.27 per share after announcing positive results for its treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The results of the study showed that its Alzheimer’s drug reduced amyloid plaques in the brain and showed positive effects on cognition.

The shares of Spansion Inc. (NYSE:CODE) surged nearly 22% to $27.86 per share after entering a $4 billion merger agreement with Cypress Semiconductors Corporation (NASDAQ:CY).  The stock price of Cypress also rallied more than 14% to $11.92 per share.

RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH) declined more than 8% to $0.72 per share. The company said it will “vigorously contest” the covenant breaches claims of its term lenders. The stock regained more than 4% of its value to $0.75 per share after hours.

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