3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • General Mills (GIS) will spend $8 billion to buy natural pet food player Blue Buffalo (BUFF) .
  • The S&P 500 is up 5.9% from the Feb. 8 correction lows.
  • Over the past nine weeks through last week, Wall Street analysts have lifted their 2018 profit estimates for S&P 500 companies by 7.7%, points out Yardeni Research.

Market Snapshot

U.S. markets were looking to capitalize on the bit of momentum that the Dow and S&P built in trading Thursday while the Nasdaq was looking to avoid a five-session losing streak Friday. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average started trading up 0.55%, or 137 points, to 25,100 out of the gate, while the S&P 500 rose 0.57%, or 15 points, to 2,719 and the Nasdaq rose 0.66%, or 46 points, to 7,256. 

The Dow's gains were driven by strong sessions from Intel Corp. (INTC) , up more than 2%, and McDonald's Corp. (MCD) , up 1.5%.

The Dow and S&P are still down overall for the holiday-shortened week.

Commodities markets were mixed Friday. After starting the day in negative territory, industry benchmark Brent crude prices were flat at $66.39 per barrel while West Texas crude prices fell 0.06% to $62.73. 

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