June 25, 2024

Shares Rise on Job Gains, Extending S.&P. Rally

The drug maker Cephalon rose 28 percent for the biggest jump in the S. P. 500 after Valeant Pharmaceuticals International offered to buy it. Visa climbed 2.8 percent on speculation that curbs on fees for debit cards will be delayed or modified. ATT advanced 2.2 percent, the biggest increase in the Dow, to close at $30.71 after its chief executive said the company’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA would increase network capacity and improve service.

The S. P. 500 gained 8.82 points, or 0.67 percent, to close at 1,328.26 and is up 5.6 percent for the first quarter, which ends Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average increased 71.60 points, or 0.58 percent, to close at 12,350.61 and has rallied 6.7 percent this year. The Nasdaq composite index was up 19.90 points, or 0.72 percent, to 2,776.79.

“Given the beginning of a strong cyclical recovery in the U.S. and a tougher environment in many of these other international markets, it seems to us like a good place for investors to be,” said Connor Browne, an investment manager at Thornburg Investment Management in Santa Fe, N.M.

The S. P. 500 is poised to complete a third consecutive quarterly advance and is headed for its biggest gain in the January through March period since 1998, when it surged 14 percent.

A report from ADP Employer Services showed companies hired 201,000 workers in March, the third time in four months that the nation added more than 200,000 jobs.

Economists predict that the Labor Department’s employment report on Friday will show nonfarm payrolls rose by 190,000 in March and the unemployment rate held at 8.9 percent. The rate fell below 9 percent in February for the first time in 22 months.

“The expectation is that the U.S. economy is going to remain strong, and the equity markets are going to continue higher,” said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

Cephalon advanced 28 percent to $75.44 after Valeant, Canada’s biggest drug maker, offered to buy it for $73 a share. The offer is valued at about $5.7 billion. Valeant rose 13 percent to $50.08. Forest Laboratories, another drug company, climbed 4.3 percent to $32.48.

Visa gained 2.8 percent to close at $74.23 after Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, said Tuesday that it would miss a April 21 deadline for a rule on debit card transaction fees. The Treasury’s benchmark 10-year note rose 14/32, to 101 18/32, and the yield slipped to 3.43 percent from 3.49 percent late Tuesday.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=1c878859562a1fadfe3e4bdf67a2003c

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