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King Russell 2000 Earns a New Crown As Stocks Soar


Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.


The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF (IBB) hit a new all-time high at $375.50 in pre-market trading.

The sector got a huge boost early on from Biogen Idec (BIIB), which announced positive interim results for its Aducanumab Alzheimer's treatment.

Biogen Idec, which accounts for nearly 10% of the IBB ETF, rose 9.8%

However, traders use the rally to take profits, and IBB finished at $366.52, up 0.4%.

The S&P 500 rebounded nicely from yesterday's decline with an 0.9% gain to finish at 2108.09.

Small caps also remained in favor, and the Russell 2000 hit an all-time intraday high of 1267.22.

Meanwhile, the NASDAQ Composite hit a new post-bubble high at 5042.14.

Stocks were aided by a sharp decline in the US dollar, which had its worst week since 2013. A strong dollar is a drag on US corporate earnings since it reduces the value of overseas sales, and makes US exports less competitive.

The weak dollar aided commodity prices, with crude oil, gold, and silver all making substantial gains.

Homebuilder KB Homes (KBH) rose 8.4% to $15.26 after reporting significantly better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. On its conference call, the company said initial demand for the Spring season was encouraging, and that it expects significant earnings growth in the second half of the year. That drove optimism in housing stocks, and the iShares US Home Construction ETF (ITB) rallied 2.0%, making it one of the top performing sectors today.

European stocks and bonds performed well today despite a rise in the euro as traders remain confident that the European Central Bank's quantitative easing program will continue to act as a tailwind.

Additionally, market participants were encouraged by a funding deal for Greece. Greek PM Alexis Tsipras said the government will submit a list of reforms in short order to secure financing to keep Greece afloat. The Athens Stock Exchange Index rose nearly 3%.

Monday's Financial Outlook

The February Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index will be reported at 8:30 a.m. ET, followed by February Existing Homes Sales at 10:00 a.m.

There are no major earnings reports on the calendar.

Twitter: @T3Live


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