Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher Monday despite a big decline in Boeing (BA) shares after the deadly crash of a 737 MAX 8 jet over the weekend.
  • Nvidia  (NVDA)  will buy Israel's Mellanox Technologies (MLNX) for around $7 billion, outbidding chipmaking rival Intel (INTC) for the cloud computing semiconductor specialist. 
  • Apple  (AAPL) climbed 3.5% after analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch boosted their rating on the tech giant, citing stability in its global supply chain.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks closed higher Monday, March 11, for the first time in six days.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 200.64 points, or 0.79%, to 25,650 despite a big drop in shares of index heavyweight Boeing (BA)  ; the S&P 500 closed up 1.47% and the Nasdaq was rising 2.02%. At its session low, the Dow was down 242 points.

Boeing (BA) shares tumbled 5.36% to $399.89, trading well off their lows for the session. A jet crash in Ethiopia that killed all 157 on board prompted airlines in Ethiopia, Indonesia, and China to ground their fleets of 737 MAX 8 aircraft. It was the second crash of the latest version of Boeing's single-aisle workhorse in recent months.

In economic news, U.S.  retail sales climbed 0.2% from December's levels, the Census Bureau said. Economists had projected the figure to be flat with December, according to data provider FactSet. Excluding autos, retail sales increased 0.9%, ahead of economists' projections for a 0.2% increase.

"The retail sales and sales report that excludes auto were encouraging," said David Madden, a market analyst at CMC Markets UK. "But given that the December numbers for both headline the ex-autos were revised lower, it takes the shine off the overall report. It seems that savvy shoppers held back spending in December, and took advantage of cut prices in January."

"The death of the consumer was greatly exaggerated as January retail sales bounced back sharply from an awful December reading," said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Sunday the U.S. central bank does "not feel in any hurry" to change the level of interest rates.

President Donald Trump released his budget proposal for 2020 on Monday that calls for $8.6 billion in new border wall funding. The proposal also calls for a 5% boost in military spending along with deep cuts to domestic programs and foreign aid. The proposal includes a 23% cut in State Department funding, a 15% cut in spending by the USDA, and a 31% cut in the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency. The budget for Homeland Security would increase by 7.4%.

Apple (AAPL) climbed after analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch boosted their rating on the tech giant, citing stability in its global supply chain. BAML analyst Wamsi Mohan, who had cut his firm's rating on Apple to neutral in early November, returned his assessment to buy with a price target of $210 per share, a 16.6% increase from the bank's previous level. Shares were up 3.5% to $178.90. 

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Nvidia  ( NVDA) said that it will will buy Israel's Mellanox Technologies ( MLNX) for around $7 billion, outbidding chipmaking rival Intel ( INTC) for the cloud computing semiconductor specialist. Nvidia said it will pay $125 per share for Mellanox, a 15% premium to the stock's Friday closing level. Shares of Nvidia were up 7% to $161.14, while Mellanox climbed 7.8% to $117.89.

Tesla (TSLA)  abruptly reversed course on its plan to move all of its sales online, saying in a blog post Sunday it will be "keeping significantly more stores open." CEO Elon Musk announced the plans to close all Tesla outlets just days ago. Tesla said it will need to raise vehicle prices by about 3% on average worldwide to pay to keep the locations open, though it intends to keep its baseline $35,000 model at the same price. Shares rose 2.39% to $290.92.

Barrick Gold  ( GOLD) pulled out of its $18 billion hostile bid for rival Newmont Mining ( NEM) Monday, saying instead that the world's biggest gold miners will form a joint venture in Nevada. Shares of Barrick were up 2.09% to $13.20, while Newmont Mining was off slightly to $33.45. 

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