Dow Up 117 as Oil Prices Break Through $50

All three major markets were up in trading today. The Dow gain 117.61 to close at 17,880.85. The NASDAQ was up 30.38 to close at 4,917.32, as the tech industry soared. The S&P 500 gained 13.66 points to end the day at 2,080.62. In overseas trading, markets were mixed. The UK, France, and Hong Kong posted gains, while Germany and Japan lost ground.

Energy Stocks Recover As Oil Prices Surge Past $50.  The energy sector got a welcome bump today as crude oil prices rose over $3 to break through the $50 per barrel ceiling.
All of the major players in domestic oil drilling were up on the news. Transocean (RIG) made the largest gains at 10%, rising 1.52 points to $16.51. Ensco PLC (ESV) was up 1.35 points to $23.23. Diamond Offshore (DO) rose 1.54 points to $28.99 per share, and Seadrill (SDRL) ended the day up 0.66 points to $10.32. A barrel of crude oil ended today's trading valued at $52.14.

Delayed Merger Approval Causes Hudson City Bankcorp Drop.  A delay in the merger between two regional banks, New York's Hudson City Bankcorp (HCBK) and northeastern M&T Bank (MTB) has caused share prices to dip for both companies. Neither bank performed especially well on the Fed's latest round of stress testing, although both did pass, but sources report that the real hold up seems to be over debt and investment consolidation. Hudson City Bankcorp was down 7% to $9.77, and M&T Bank fell -3.45 points to $123.76.

Mattel Up 6% On Positive Q1 Earnings.  Toy-maker Mattel (MAT) has been having a tough quarter due to higher than average export pricing which has depressed overseas sales. As the company releases preliminary Q1 earnings, however, it seems that shareholders are pleasantly surprised. Mattel beat sales expectations -- again, in the preliminary numbers -- and profits were as much as 3% higher than expected. Shares of Mattel rose 6% on the news, gaining 1.35 points to close at $24.00.

Euro Continues To Rise As The Dollar Stalls Out.  Bond rates for the US Dollar have been flat for two weeks, held artificially low as the Fed makes up its mind on when the time is right to raise the Prime. In the meantime, the Euro is recovering slowly versus the US Dollar as Greece makes plans to return the the Drachma and possibly make at least a partial exit of the EU. All of this is good news for the struggling Eurozone, but Americans who are looking to spend their tax returns on high-dollar European imports are going to be getting a little less bang for their buck.

Blue Chips Driving The Dow Higher.  In addition to energy companies, it was really the big players that buoyed the market today. Corporations like 3M (MMM), Apple (AAPL), and IBM (IBM) gave the Dow the lift that it needed to stay well in the black. 3M gained 2.68 points to close at $165.48 per share. Apple was up 2.03 points to end the day's trading at $127.35. IBM added 1.59 points to close at $162.04.
Published on Apr 6, 2015
By Aaron Phillips
Aaron Phillips is a financial researcher and journalist based out of Michigan. He regularly writes the IG Daily and IG Weekly columns.

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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