Money Minute: Stocks Mark Financial-Crisis Milestone; IPOs Gather Steam

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Sunday marks the five-year anniversary of when the stock market bottomed out after the financial crisis.

The S&P 500 has nearly tripled since March 9, 2009, and the Dow has moved from 6,547 back then to close Thursday at 16,421 -- that's a gain of nearly 10,000 points.

Remember, the market plunge was caused by the financial crisis. So guess which sector has been among the best performers during the past five years? Yes, financials. Tech and consumer discretionary stocks have also been stellar performers.

The stock market boom is prompting start-up companies to go public at the fastest pace since the turn of the century. According to Dealogic, 42 companies had initial public offerings in the first two months of this year, more than doubling the pace of last year.

This extended bull market, with IPO fever running rampant, reminds some market watchers of the period just before the Internet bubble burst in 2000.
But there are plenty of others who say that's an unfair comparison, and that this bull still has plenty of room left to run.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained 61 points Thursday and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 3 -- notching its 50th record close in the past year -- but the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) fell 6 points.

A lot of the focus today is on the monthly jobs report. It's interesting to note that a lot more people are picking up and moving to a new area of the country to take a new job -- something we saw very little of in recent years. The relocation numbers come from the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which says this trend is a sign of a strengthening economy.

Finally, Safeway (SWY) has agreed to be acquired for $9 billion by the parent company of the Albertsons chain. But reports say the nation's leading supermarket chain, Kroger (KR), could still come in with a higher bid.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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