Wall Street rally sends S andP to record high and Nasdaq to 12.5-year high


Washington, Apr. 30 (Xinhua-ANI): U.S. stocks rose on Monday, with the S andP 500 closing at a record high and the Nasdaq ending at a high not seen November 2000, boosted by upbeat housing data and climbing tech shares.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average Index surged 106.20 points, or 0.72 percent, to 14,818.75 points. The broader S andP 500 soared 11.37 points, or 0.72 percent, to 1,593.61 points. The tech- rich Nasdaq leapt 27.76 points, or 0.85 percent, to 3,307.02 points.

The S andP 500 edged very close to its all-time intraday high of 1, 597.35 points set on April 11 before retreating in the last hour of trading.

U.S. March pending home sales, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 1.5 percent to its highest level in three years, according to a report released Monday by the National Association of Realtors. The reading exceeded its market expectation.

Tech shares led the broad gains, helping the Nasdaq outperform the other two main stock indices.

Shares of Conceptus Inc., a U.S. birth-control product manufacturer, surged 19.54 percent to 30.96 U.S. dollars on news that German chemical and pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG agreed to buy Conceptus for approximately 1.1 billion dollars in cash.

Meanwhile, Conceptus reported on Monday that its net income in the first quarter of this year was 1.9 million dollars, or 5 cents per fully diluted share, after logging a net loss of 2.8 million dollars in the same period of 2012.

SINA Corporation's shares jumped 9.40 percent to 55.03 dollars as it announced that Alibaba Group has invested 586 million dollars to purchase shares of Weibo Corporation, SINA's wholly owned subsidiary, before the opening bell in New York market.

The market also regained momentum from Italy's rising stocks as well as bond prices which pushed its borrowing costs to an over- two-year low as a coalition government was established last week, ending two months of political deadlock in the debt-ridden country.

In other economic data, U.S. personal income increased 0.2 percent in March after jumping 1.1 percent in the prior month, and personal consumption expenditures advanced 0.2 percent, weaker than the February's 0.7-percent increase, the Commerce Department said Monday.

Analysts had expected personal income to rise 0.4 percent and consumer spending to increase 0.1 percent in March.

The market rebounded in the previous week due to generally upbeat corporate earnings and rising commodity prices. (Xinhua-ANI)