The stock markets in the United States rallied today driven by optimism among investors that central banks will support the global economic growth. The markets also benefitted from reports on corporate mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

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Larry Peruzzi, director of international trading at Cabrera Capital Markets told Bloomberg, “The biggest thing in today’s market is there’s no huge negative.”  He noted that China’s central bank commented about stimulus while the news about the economy is a bit mixed. Peruzzi added, “It seems people are putting cash to work thinking maybe earnings are going to come in better than expected.”

Last Friday, Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen indicated a “gradualist approach” in increasing the interest rate. According to her, the appropriate time implement an interest rate has not yet come. However, she expects that “conditions may warrant an increase in the federal funds target sometime this year.”

Today, the Department of Commerce reported the personal income and savings in the United States increased in February amid. Data showed that U.S. households prefer to save instead of spending their money amid the improving labor market and cheaper gas prices. Data showed that the personal income increased by 0.04% or $58.6 billion. The personal savings increased 5.8% to $768.6 billion last month.

[drizzle]In a note to investors, “Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial Corp. commented, After years of spending as if there were no tomorrow, consumers are now saving like there is a tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, the number of Americans who signed agreement to buy previously owned homes was higher than expected in February, an indication of a strong demand in the housing market.  The National Association of Realtors reported that the pending home sales index increased 3.1% to 106.9 last month, the highest level since 2013.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,976.31(+1.49%)
  • S&P 500- 2,086.24 (+1.22%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,947.44 (+1.15%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,257.92 (+1.41%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,727.80 (+1.33%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,891.43 (+0.53%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 12,086.01 (+1.83%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 19,411.40 (+0.56%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 24,855.12 (+1.51%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 4,088.18 (+2.93%)

Stocks in Focus

Auspex Pharmaceuticals soared more than 41% to $100.36 per share after agreeing to be acquired by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries for $3.5 billion in cash. TEVA climbed nearly 1% to $62.52 per share.

The stock price of Catamaran formerly SXC Health Solutions surged more than 23% to $59.83 per share. UnitedHealth’s OptumRx agreed to acquire Catamaran for approximately $12.8 billion. UnitedHealth gained more than 2% to $12 per share.

The shares Horizon Pharma increased more than 18% to $25.78 per share after announcing its agreement to acquire Hyperion Therapeutics for $1.1 billion to obtain Raviciti and Buphenyl, the drugs for rare metabolic diseases.  Hyperion Therapeutics rose more than 7% to $45.98 per share.

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