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What fueled the surge? Greece and Eurozone officials reached an agreement to extend the country's bailout for another four months.
Dow: 18,140.44, +154.67, +0.86%
S&P 500: 2,110.30, +12.85, +0.61%
Nasdaq: 4,955.97, +31.27, +0.63%
The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gauge, dipped 6% on the day.
What Moved the Markets Today: Eurozone and Greek officials met for five hours this afternoon and emerged with an agreement to extend the nation's financial rescue for another four months. The deal was approved by all 19 governments of the European Union on the condition that Greece provide an initial list of reform measures by Monday. The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSE Arca: GREK) jumped more than 10%, while shares of the National Bank of Greece (NYSE ADR: NBG) jumped more than 21%.
Now, check out the other top market stories – plus get our new profit tip for investors:
- Oil Prices Today: Crude oil prices yo-yoed on Friday, before finishing down on the day. The oil markets had their first weekly loss in roughly one month and pulled down domestic producers on the day. Shares of Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE: NBR) and EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) both slipped more than 2.5% on the day. March 2015 futures for U.S. crude, priced at the NYMEX in New York City, dipped another 1.6% to hit $50.34 per barrel. Brent crude, priced in London, added 0.25% to hit $60.36 per barrel.
- Earnings Beat: Shares of farm-equipment manufacturer Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) were up marginally after the company beat first-quarter earnings. The company reported better than expected sales of $5.61 billion, outpacing Wall Street expectations of $5.59 billion. Despite the positive news, the company slashed its earnings outlook. The stock received a boost this week after Warren Buffett revealed he had taken a new stake in the firm.
- Pimco's Woes: Another big exit has struck Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO). The company announced its managing director and chief economist, Paul McCulley, will step down at the end of the month. However, if this sounds familiar, it is. McCulley has already left the company two times in his career. In 2014, McCulley returned as a favor to Bill Gross after Mohamed A. El-Erian stepped down. Despite the news, Money Map Report staple PIMCO Strategic Income Fund Inc. (NYSE: RCS) gained 0.2%.
- Tax Time: Shares of Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) jumped more than 6% today after the company's CFO said the firm has found no evidence that its financial systems have been hacked. The company concluded that fraudulent tax returns filed last month did not indicate any vulnerability in its TurboTax software. Avoid getting scammed out of your tax refund with these five tips…
- An Apple a Day: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) hit new all-time intraday high this afternoon before finishing up on the day by 0.8%. Apple stock continues to surge after the company's recent announcement of its electric vehicle and news it received two upgrades from analysts. Investors have made some lofty predictions for Apple stock in the future, but as we explained yesterday, these predictions might actually be too low.
Money Morning Tip of the Day: You can make any investment virtually risk-free under the right circumstances by using a strategy called the "free trade."
Today's tip comes from Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald:
Markets are now at new record highs. Many investors are sitting on solid profits and, in doing so, taking on a lot more risk than they should.
So now is a perfect time to discuss one of my favorite tactics: the free trade.
This strategy lets you do three things at once:
- Capture profits of at least 100%
- Pay for your initial investment
- Reduce the risk on your remaining position to almost nothing
It's simple. Here's how it works:
Once an investment delivers at least 100% returns, sell half your position to capture profits. Then redeploy those profits into other investments, and let the remaining shares of the first investment run.
So you get back your original investment, and you maintain all the upside you can handle, essentially "for free." Even better, since you've now "paid" for your investment, you can stay in the game with not another dollar at risk, even if the stock you've just harvested has a reversal in fortune and goes from hero to zero.
A free trade works in all market conditions, on any investment, and can be set up well in advance. No other technique I know of comes close in terms of simplicity or effectiveness.
Keith Fitz-Gerald is a seasoned market analyst and professional trader with more than 30 years of experience. Forbes.com recently hailed him as a "market visionary." For more investing tips and stock picks from Fitz-Gerald, go here…