DJIA Today Soars on Deals and Energy Gains

The DJIA today rose 138 points. The cause? M&A activity and rising energy shares.

Monday's big gain comes after Friday's slump that saw a 300-point drop in the Dow Jones in afternoon trading and the S&P 500's worst decline in two months.

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) launched its new Apple Watch today. Our Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald joined FOX Business' "Varney & Co." this afternoon to discuss what it means for Apple stock and how investors can maximize gains...

Today's Scorecard:

Dow Jones: 17,995.72, +138.94, +0.78%    

S&P 500: 2,079.43, +8.17, +0.39% 

Nasdaq: 4,942.44, +15.07, +0.31% 

What Moved the DJIA Today: Wall Street marked the sixth anniversary of the current bull market today. The day was defined by a major deal in the metals industry and a blockbuster offer in the real estate market. Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG) offered to buy Macerich Co. (NYSE: MAC) for $22.4 billion, including debt. Shares of MAC jumped nearly 7%.

Energy shares jumped today on rising crude oil prices and rumors of a possible deal for production giant Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL). Shares of Whiting rose nearly 13% after The Wall Street Journal reported the company is seeking a suitor to purchase its significant oil and gas assets. However, rumors remain uncertain at this hour, according to Reuters.

Now, check out the other top market stories - plus get our new profit tip for investors:

  • Merger Mania: The consolidation continues. Aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) announced plans to purchase RTI International Metals Inc. (NYSE: RTI) for $1.5 billion. The deal is part of Alcoa's broader strategy to expand its product portfolio in the aerospace and automotive industries. Shares of Alcoa dipped roughly 5%, while RTI shares soared almost 40%. Nearly 80% of RTI's business consists of aerospace and defense contracts.
  • Pharma Surge: Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) jumped 3% on news that activist investor Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management has taken a $3.3 billion stake in the Canadian drug manufacturer. The news comes just months after Ackman had teamed up with Valeant in pursuit of an aggressive takeover of Botox maker Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN). However, Allergan rebuffed the deal, sued Ackman's fund, and sold itself to rival Actavis Plc. (NYSE: ACT). Now, Ackman is positive Valeant will outperform in the future after its recent purchase of Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Nasdaq: SLXP).
  • Buyback Boom: Shares of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) rose more than 3% on news the company announced a new $5 billion stock buyback program and a hike to its dividend. The deal will help it avoid a proxy battle against activist investors and promises to return a huge swath of cash. According to terms of an agreement, Harry Wilson will drop his bid for a seat on the company's board of directors. Wilson was a turnaround specialist central to the government's bailout plan for the automotive giant in 2009. He helped the company navigate its bankruptcy restructuring.
  • Electric Slide: Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) fell nearly 2% this afternoon on news that the electric vehicle giant plans to slash up to 180 jobs in China, according to a local media report. The firm continues to struggle as sales in the world's second-largest economy continue to sag. An executive in the United States said the decision was part of a larger goal of building a "stronger and more efficient team" in the region.
  • An Apple a Day: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) were mixed this afternoon, settling up more than 0.4% at the closing bell. The stock didn't "spring forward" as many expected after today's company event that announced the release of the Apple Watch. According to reports, the Apple Watch sport will start at a base price of $349. Meanwhile, its high-end model, which is for sale on April 24, will start at $10,000. This represents the company's first new product launch in roughly five years as it continues to extend its reach into the mobile sector. But the real story today behind the Apple Watch is its influence on gold prices in 2015. In fact, Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth expects the Watch to be the biggest catalyst for the yellow metal this year.

Money Morning Tip of the Day: Stocks backed by "Unstoppable Trends" have the potential to dramatically outperform the markets. 

Today's tip comes from Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald:

There are six "Unstoppable Trends" backed by trillions of dollars - and investing in companies that tap into these trends will pay off huge.

Energy: Analysts almost universally hate the energy sector. But it's showing every sign of approaching the point of "maximum pessimism" - and that should quicken your pulse as an investor. Demand for oil is accelerating, and oil prices are set to rebound even as supply steadily increases.

Demographics: For the first time in history, the number of people aged 65 and older will outnumber children younger than five years old worldwide by 2020. This will mean surging profits for medical companies like Becton, Dickinson & Co. (NYSE: BDX).

Medicine: Healthcare spending in the United States jumped 3.6% in 2014. This was due in large part to Obamacare's implementation and a related surge in Medicaid expenditures. New politically driven "mandates" will create guaranteed market shares for favored companies.

War, Terrorism, and Ugliness: The U.S. Department of Defense has requested a budget for fiscal year 2016 that increases spending by 7.7% to $585 billion. The defense sector will benefit greatly as governments gear up to defend against new and emerging threats. Defense companies like Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN) will flourish.

For the last two trends, plus more info on the massive wealth all six will create, go here: These Unstoppable Trends Are Creating Ever-Stronger Profit Opportunities