Stocks start week with a bang

By: Matt McGovern Email
By: Matt McGovern Email
The Dow jumped 75 points out of the gate to a record high Monday in intraday trading. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also got a nice bounce.

While investors have continued pouring into the perceived safety of blue chip companies, tech stocks have been hammered as investors fret about sky-high valuations and in some cases not-yet-proven business models.

NEW YORK, NY (CNNMoney) - Now this is a good way to start the work week.

The Dow jumped 75 points out of the gate to a record high Monday in intraday trading. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also got a nice bounce.

While investors have continued pouring into the perceived safety of blue chip companies, tech stocks have been hammered as investors fret about sky-high valuations and in some cases not-yet-proven business models.

To that end, CNNMoney's Fear and Greed Index has been languishing in fear mode for the last month.

There was also a bit of that merger Monday feeling in the air, after Hillshire Brands announced plans to acquire packaged foods company Pinnacle Foods for $6.6 billion. Shares of Pinnacle surged 15% on the news, while shares of Hillshire dropped 4%.

Investors are also on the lookout for another mega health care deal, of which there have been aplenty so far this year.

Pfizer shares rose after the company published a letter to a parliamentary committee in the United Kingdom arguing its case for its proposed $106 billion acquisition of AstraZeneca.

The chief executives of both companies will be grilled by British lawmakers Tuesday and Wednesday, reflecting high levels of public anxiety over the impact of a takeover on jobs and scientific research in the U.K. So far the two health care giants have been unable to reach an agreement, but if completed, the deal would likely be the second biggest pharmaceutical deal after Pfizer's $112 billion purchase of Warner Lambert in 2000.

GoGo soared after the company beat earnings estimates. The in-flight Internet provider reported a narrower loss compared to a year earlier and said that its revenue climbed 35%.

Ralph Lauren suffered after the iconic clothing company's stock was hit with an analyst downgrade. The stock has been sliding and is down more than 16.5% this year as it struggles to keep up with the competition.

Investors are also keeping a close eye on geopolitical developments, but seem to be shrugging off Sunday's vote in a region of eastern Ukraine that showed an overwhelming majority in favor of independence. Ukraine and several Western countries have condemned the referendum, organized by pro-Russian separatists.

European Union foreign ministers will discuss the situation in Ukraine on Monday, but are unlikely to announce any new sanctions against Russia or separatist leaders before Ukraine's presidential election slated on May 25.

European markets are all trading higher today.

Most major Asian markets ended firmer. The Shanghai Composite index surged by just over 2% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose by 1.8%.


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