2/22/2016, 10:10 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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U.S. markets close higher, as oil prices rise

Stock markets in the United States closed on average 1% higher on Monday, as oil prices climbed, keeping the mood seen on Friday.

A number of companies in the energy sector saw gains – Ultra Petroleum Corporation, Chesapeake Energy Corporation. The health sector shares were among most wanted for the day, among them Allergan, WellCare Health Plans, USANA Health Sciences.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average index closed up 1.38% to 16,618 points. United Technologies Corporation shares rallied 5.02% to $92.76 after the U.S. media reported unconfirmed news about merger talks between the corporation and the counterpart Honeywell. However, shares of Honeywell International Inc. sunk 1.77%. Chevron added 2.79%, and Caterpillar, The Boeing Company, Intel, all saw gains of over 2%. Exxon Mobil shares lost 0.16%, being one of rare losers.

The Dow Jones Transportation index was up 1.86%, showing more strength for the sector in the country spanning the entire continent.

The S&P 500 index closed up 1.44% at 1,945 points, with the energy sector leading in gains: Chesapeake recovered from recent near-death experience rocketing 16.25%, followed by a number of oil and gas companies. Mining sector also felt stronger with Freeport-McMoRan jumping 13.87% and Alcoa Inc. rising 12.96%. Sysco lost 5.15%, Whole Foods Market dropped 2.33%, and Kellogg shed 2.15%.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index rose 1.61% to 4,231 points, Tesla Motors Inc. enjoyed a rise of 6.70% erasing part of losses in the recent weeks. Electronic Arts, NXP Semiconductors, the DISH Network also gained over 5% each. SanDisk Corporation led the losing side with slide of 2.33%.

The wider Nasdaq Composite index added 1.47% for the day, with energy and mining companies achieving greatest gains.

The U.S. light sweet crude WTI rose 4.91% to trade at $33.39 a barrel at the ICE Europe at 10:03 p.m. CET (4:03 p.m. EST), while the last American trade for March concluded at $31.48 a barrel. The international benchmark Brent climbed 4.98% to $34.72 a barrel. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reported the OPEC daily basket price of 13 crudes at $29.17 a barrel on Friday, compared with $29.96 the previous day.

The U.S. dollar was weaker 00.03% against the euro, and 0.04% versus the U.K. sterling, and losing 0.03% to the Japanese yen, while staying even with the Swiss franc at 10:09 p.m. CET (4:09 p.m. EST).

Gold was down 1.48% at $1,207.55 per fine ounce at 10:10 p.m. CET (4:10 p.m. EST).

Breaking the News / ZR