Wall Street investors were in a more cheerful mood today as oil prices and other commodities gained, the economic data was positive and technology stocks had a big day.
Crude oil and commodities such as copper rose nearly 3%. In economic news, the October S&P/Case- Shiller Home Price Indices showed a price rise of 5.2% from the previous year, an increase from September’s 4.9%. Tight inventory was cited as the most salient reason for the continuing rise in real estate values.
Another positive was the December Consumer Confidence Index coming in at 96.5, above expectations for 93,8. In addition, November’s number was revised from 90.4 to 92.6.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average had a great day, rising 1.1%, while the S&P 500 was up about the same. The Nasdaq was 1.3% better. Sectors were all higher across the board today, with technology and healthcare the strongest of all.
Favorable changes lifted stocks such as Pep Boys-Manny Moe and Jack (NYSE:PBY), Willis Group Holdings PLC (NYSE:WSH) and Triumph Group Inc (NYSE:TGI) to become three of today’s best stocks. Here’s the full story:
Pep Boys-Manny Moe and Jack (PBY)
PBY stock got yet another boost today, finishing nearly 9% higher, after noted investor Carl Icahn raised his offer to PBY to over $1 billion, or $18.50 a share, with no conditions of due diligence or financing in the deal. Bridgestone Corp (ADR) (OTCMKETS:BRDCY) had previously made an offer of $17 a share to the Philadelphia, Pa.-based retailer of auto parts.
On the heels of this announcement, PBY stock was further lifted by a price target upgrade from Efraim Levy of S&P Capital IQ from $18 to $19. PBY stock has shot up from $12.50 a share over the last two months because of the ongoing battle over acquiring the company.
Willis Group Holdings PLC (WSH)
Willis Group, an insurance claims recovery consulting service, may not have been that well known among investors previously, but that’s about to change. Willis Group was up over 4.5% amid news that the company is about to be added to the S&P 500 index.
The addition, which was announced late Monday, will occur as of the closing bell on Jan. 4, 2016. WSH stock will replace Fossil Group Inc (NASDAQ:FOSL), which is being moved to the S&P MidCap 400 index. Fossil then replaces Towers Watson & Co (NASDAQ:TW), a company that is merging with none other than Willis Group under a new symbol of WLTW.
TW stock was also 4% higher on the news. FOSL stock finished up 1%.
Triumph Group Inc (TGI)
TGI stock was one of the largest gainers on Wall Street today after Raytheon executive Dan Crowley was named their new president and CEO, replacing founder Richard C. Ill, who unretired in April, after CEO Jeffry Frisby resigned, to run the company. Crowley had previously worked at Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT).
Today’s stock gain of 19% was the largest for Triumph Group since 2008.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.