Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher despite Federal Reserve concerns over slowing global growth.
  • Biogen Inc. (BIIB - Get Report) tumbled 29.2% after the biotech company dropped a late-stage trial for aducanumab, an Alzheimer's disease drug.
  • Shares Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI) soared nearly 32% as the clothing company opened for trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks ended the day in positive territory Thursday as investors shrugged off the Federal Reserve's warning of slowing economic growth and President Donald Trump's comments on China tariffs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 217 points, or 0.84%, to 25,963, the S&P 500 rose 1.09% and the Nasdaq gained 1.42%.

The Fed kept its key policy target unchanged at 2.25% to 2.5% on Wednesday. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said he would remain "patient," monitoring incoming data and developments in the global economy, and would be unlikely to move on interest rates until early next year. While a dovish Fed would normally boost stocks around the world, investors remained cautious over slowing global growth, the U.S.-China trade talks, and the Brexit situation in Europe.

Trump said tariffs on China-made goods would remain "for a substantial period of time because we have to make sure that if we do the deal with China that China lives by the deal."

In Thursday's economic news, the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey rose to 13.7 for March, nearly triple the consensus forecast, and up from a reading of -4.1 in February. Also, initial jobless claims fell by 9,000 to 221,000 in the seven days ended March 16, the Labor Department said, and the Conference Board reported that the leading economic index increased 0.2% in February, following no change in January, and a 0.1% decline in December.

"The jobless claims report was well received, but the U.S. jobs market is in rude health so changes in either direction are unlikely to have a major impact," said David Madden, a market analyst at CMC Markets UK. "The Philly Fed was a nice surprise and the bounce back from the negative reading in February suggests it was a blip, and probably related to the government shutdown."

Biogen Inc. ( BIIB - Get Report) tumbled 29.2% to $226.88 after the biotech company dropped a late-stage trial for aducanumab, an Alzheimer's disease drug. The company said it abandoned the drug after deeming it was unlikely to be successful, but noted safety issues weren't the basis for the cancellation.

Micron Technology (MU - Get Report)  climbed after the chipmaker reported stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings and forecast an uptick in global demand over the second half of the year. Shares were up 9.6% to $43.99.

Shares of Levi Strauss & Co. ( LEVI) soared nearly 32% to $22.42 as the clothing company opened for trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange at $22.22, well above its $17 a share initial public offering price.

Darden Restaurants (DRI - Get Report) increased 6.9% to $116.11 after the restaurant operator reported stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings and boosted its full-year profit forecast.

Apple Inc. (AAPL - Get Report) shares climbed 3.7% to $195.09 after analysts from Citigroup, Needham, Wedbush issued upgrades for the world's biggest tech company in anticipation of next week's likely announcement of the company's video streaming service. 


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Shares of Boeing Co. (BA - Get Report) slipped nearly 1% to $372.70 on news that lawmakers, federal investigators and the Department of Justice want to question company executives over two crashes of its 737 MAX planes that killed nearly 350 passengers and raised safety concerns for the flagship aircraft. USA Today reported that the FBI is assisting transportation authorities in their investigation into the jet's certification process.

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