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The DJIA added another 305 points Tuesday. The cause? Oil prices surged once again.
Soaring auto sales and hopes for a Greek debt deal also lifted stocks today.
Dow: 17,666.40, +305.36, +1.76%
S&P 500: 2,050.03, +29.18, +1.44%
Nasdaq: 4,727.74, +51.05, +1.09%
The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gauge, plunged 10.8% on the day.
What Moved the Markets Today: Have crude oil prices found a bottom? Some traders seem to think so after oil's record day Tuesday. WTI soared 7%, while Brent surged nearly 6%. Crude prices are up 19% since the news Friday that the number of U.S. oil drilling rigs had its biggest weekly decline in almost three decades.
Now, check out the other top market stories – plus get our new profit tip for investors:
- Sales Surge: It was a huge day for auto sales, as several manufacturers reported double-digit sales growth in January thanks in part to falling oil prices. Both Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) saw shares jump more than 2.5% on news the companies saw a sales boost in sport-utility vehicles and trucks.
- Bankruptcy Bust: The New York Stock Exchange is moving to delist RadioShack Corp.'s (NYSE: RSH) stock from the index due to its pending bankruptcy. This follows reports that Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is in discussions to purchase a portion of the struggling retailer's stores, according to Bloomberg.
- Cutting Costs: Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis plans to meet with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi in Germany tomorrow in a move that could dispel a lot of stress over Europe. The leader of the anti-austerity party, which just assumed power in a recent election, said he's hoping to reach an agreement on the nation's debts. Yesterday he unveiled a number of proposals that would swap outstanding debt for new growth-linked bonds. The news sent The Athens Composite Index surging more than 10% on the day.
Merger Mania: Shares of Office Depot (Nasdaq: ODP) were up more than 21% on news the company is in advanced discussions to merge with rival Staples Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS). Staples shares jumped more than 10% on the news. Rumors of a possible deal had been brewing since activist investor Starboard Value LP disclosed large stakes in both office supply retailers in December. According to the filings, the investor holds a 5.1% stake in Staples and a 10% stake in Office Depot.
- Flight Risk: Rising oil prices also produced some losers today, as airline stocks took a big hit. Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) slipped roughly 3%, while rival Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) slipped 1.1%. Airline stocks had been soaring as crude prices slipped over the last six months. Higher prices will eat into their profits.
- Earnings Slump: Shares of United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) slipped roughly 0.5% after the company's earnings missed expectations. UPS had a difficult retail season, which has forced CEO David Abney to initiate new efforts to "improve profitability and increase operational efficiencies."
- An Apple a Day: Apple stock retreated marginally from its $119 per share price today. Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) announced plans to invest $2 billion in a sapphire plant previously owned by GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (OTCMKTS: GTATQ). At the location, Apple plans to produce scratch-resistant sapphire screens for its devices.