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Dow: 17,976.31, +263.65, +1.49%
S&P 500: 2,086.24, +25.22, +1.22%
Nasdaq: 4,947.44, +56.22, +1.15%
The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gauge, slipped 5.84% on the day.
What Moved the Stock Market Today: The S&P 500 energy sector jumped more than 1.8% on the day despite declining oil prices. Today's most active energy stocks were Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), up 2.45%; Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), up 2.51%; and Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI), up 1.94%. Oil prices were under pressure today as rumors of a possible deal between the United States and Iran have emerged.
A rash of deals helped propel the Dow Jones and Nasdaq today. Shares of Catamaran Corp. (Nasdaq: CTRX), a pharmacy benefits company, jumped more than 23% on news that UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) plans to purchase the firm for $12.8 billion. Shares of Auspex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ASPX) jumped more than 41% in premarket hours on news it would be purchased by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE ADR: TEVA) for roughly $3.2 billion. Ireland's Horizon Pharma Plc. (Nasdaq: HZNP) announced plans to purchase Hyperion Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: HPTX) for $1.1 billion. Shares of Horizon jumped 18%, while Hyperion shares were up roughly 7.5%.
Now, check out the other top market stories – plus get our new profit tip for investors:
- Under the Bus: Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke released his new blog this morning and quickly took a defensive stance against critics. Bernanke's latest entry said that he didn't "throw seniors under the bus" by keeping interest rates at record lows. Bernanke's blog at the Brookings Institution centers on economics, finance, and "sometimes baseball." The blog's timing is interesting considering a new report by reinsurer Swiss Re came out Thursday stating that artificially low interest rates have cost U.S. savers $470 billion since 2008. And long-time readers of Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani know Bernanke's Fed policies did a lot more than just hurt savers. It allowed our biggest banks to create the largest criminal empire on earth.
- Healthy Profits: Shares of GNC Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GNC) jumped nearly 7% today on news that the New York Attorney General affirmed its herbal-supplement products are compliant with Food and Drug Administration regulations. In early March, the state's Attorney General said it was conducting a probe of the nutritional supplement industry to determine if the products contained their label's ingredients. Shares of Vitamin Shoppe Inc. (NYSE: VSI) were up more than 5% intraday as well.
- Energy Event: Shares of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) jumped more than 3% this afternoon on news that company CEO Elon Musk plans to unveil a "major new Tesla product line." The big news here? It's not an electric car. In a tweet, Musk said the company will make the announcement in its Design Studio on April 30 at 8 p.m. In addition, Musk tweeted several optimistic comments about the company's operations in China, which struggled at the end of 2014. Musk said he had "great faith" in his foreign sales team.
- An Apple a Day: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) were up more than 2.5% on the day as rumors emerge of a broader share buyback program of the company's stock. The company's CEO Tim Cook has also made headlines by calling a new "religious freedom" law in Indiana "dangerous discrimination. "America's business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business," Cook wrote in a Washington Post editorial Sunday. "On behalf of Apple, I'm standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation – wherever it emerges."
Alibaba's growth numbers are rock-solid. Earnings increased 80% last quarter. Gross merchandise volume (GMV) was up 49%. Total mobile users were up 95%.
The company's mobile base is growing, too. It hit 265 million monthly active users last quarter. That's a yearly increase of 95% and a quarterly increase of 22%.
BABA is such a good long-term buy, especially at its current price, that Money Morning Executive Editor Bill Patalon suggests adding to your position every time the stock comes down.
"Alibaba is a stock that you have to be willing to hold for a long time," Patalon said. "You don't just load up the truck with Alibaba stock and pray. You buy in and add to your position when there are pullbacks. This is a stock you want to hold for 10 to 15 years."
To get two more quality stocks to pick up now and hold for the long haul, check out: Best Long-Term Stocks to Buy Now
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.