Promises from Italy’s new prime minister that he wouldn’t tack onto the country’s debt to help pump the country to life — combined with a better-than-expected jump in pending U.S. home sales from March — kick-started a broad market rally Monday that ushered the S&P 500 to a new record close.
Investors also were looking ahead to this week’s meeting of the Fed and an expectation of continued monetary easing to boost the economy, helping to prime the rally pump.
By day’s end, S&P 500 closed higher by 0.72% to 1593.61, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up similarly, 0.72% to 14818.75. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq rose 0.85% to close at 3,307.02, its highest level in 12 years.
Technology stocks led the charge Monday.
Rumors regarding an earlier than expected summer release of the iPhone 5S from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) lifted AAPL shares more than 3% to help buoy the S&P and Nasdaq.
Shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT, +2.6%) led the Dow after it announced a rebranding initiative for its Bing, Skype and Xbox products. MSFT is up nearly 23% year-to-date. IBM (NYSE:IBM, +2.5%), and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ, +2.7%) also were among the Dow’s hottest stocks.
Moody’s (NYSE:Morgan Stanley rose more than 8% to lead the S&P 500 after settling a lawsuit with (NYSE:MS) involving accusations of misleading investors about risks involved in subprime mortgages. McGraw-Hill (NYSE:MHP) — another party to the settlement — rose more than 3%.
Earnings season continues Tuesday, with notables Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Aetna (NYSE:AET) and U.S. Steel (NYSE:X) set to report.
- Conceptus (NASDAQ:CPTS): Up 19.5% ($5.06) to $30.96. (Read more here)
- Sina (NASDAQ:SINA): Up 9.4% ($4.73) to $55.03.
- Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ:CRUS): Up 7.2% ($1.28) to $19.15.
- Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP): Down 9.3% (58 cents) to $5.64.
- MBIA (NYSE:MBI): Down 4.4% (45 cents) to $9.85.
- Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA): Down 2.4% (8 cents) to $3.27.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing he is long AAPL and MSFT.