After Market: St. Patrick Drives the Bears Out of Wall Street

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Wall Street lit up with green arrows on St. Patrick's Day. Investors wore their shamrock-colored glasses Monday, focusing on a pair of upbeat economic reports, and the fact that there was no violence connected to Crimea's weekend vote to separate from Ukraine and join with Russia.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) jumped 181 points, snapping a five day losing streak. The Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rallied 34 and S&P 500 gained 17 points. Technical analysts are happy because the Standard & Poor's 500 (^GSPC) moved back above a key support level, after dipping below that line last week.

Two stocks rallied because they're being added to the S&P index. Biogen-Idec (BIIB) gained 4 percent and Green Mountain (GMCR) gained 2 percent. Both stocks have been red-hot. Green Mountain, in fact, has more than doubled in price. Investors jump on these S&P additions because they know all of the mutual funds that track the index will have to buy them later this week.

Leading the blue chip advance were Boeing (BA), IBM (IBM) and 3M (MMM) --all up about 2 percent. Yahoo (YHOO) gained 4 percent on news that Alibaba plans a U.S. IPO this year. Yahoo owns a 24 percent stake in the Chinese e-commerce giant. And Sina (SINA) rose 6.5 percent, as its Weibo unit said it will list in the U.S.

Sticking with the China theme, electronic vehicle maker Kandi Technologies (KNDI) rallied 23 percent as quarterly results easily topped expectations. This is another stock with a fabulous year-over-year-gain –- it's up nearly 500 percent.

Another winner today: Hertz (HTZ) rose nearly 5 percent on a report it will spin-off its division that rents construction equipment.

Bucking the uptrend today, stocks that provide services and operate TV stations. Gray Television (GTN) tumbled 10 percent after a Wells Fargo downgrade. Others in the sector followed suit: Sinclair (SBGI) fell 8 percent, Nexstar (NXST) lost 9 percent, Lin TV (LIN) declined 4.5 percent.

And the Internet infrastructure firm VeriSign (VRSN) fell nearly 6 percent. There are concerns its contracts could be in jeopardy as changes are made in the management of Internet domain names.

What to Watch Tuesday:
  • Labor Department releases Consumer Price Index for February, 8:30 a.m.
  • Commerce Department releases housing starts for February, 8:30 a.m.
  • Federal Reserve policymakers begin a two-day meeting to set interest rates.
  • Oracle (ORCL) reports quarterly financial results after the market closes.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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