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Stocks Blast Higher, German DAX Makes New Record


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

Europe was once again strong across the board, led by Germany's DAX, which rose 2.2% to 12,167.72.

The DAX set an all-time intraday high at 12,219.05 as traders continue to anticipate a boost from the European Central Bank's quantitative easing program, which began earlier this month.

After the European market close, at a speech in Frankfurt, ECB President Mario Draghi said that lower oil prices, the aforementioned QE program, and structural reforms are improving the Euro-Zone economy.

US markets followed through, with the S&P 500 trading 1.4% higher to 2081.16.

The biotech sector rose on deal news for the second straight day.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) said it is increasing its bid for Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP) in response to last week's rival offer from Endo International (ENDP).

Valeant is now offering $173 per share in cash, up from $158 previously.

On Friday, the sector rose on speculation of a takeover of Biomarin (BMRN).

Shares of Salix finished at $172.75, up 2.0%.

Procter & Gamble (PG) rose 2.1% to $83.56 on a Bloomberg report that the company is considering a sale or IPO of its beauty business, which has nearly $20 billion in annual sales. The news helped rally consumer staples stocks, which have been under pressure because of the strong US dollar.

In international markets, China's Shanghai Composite rose 2.3%. Premier Le Kequang said the country will take action if growth does not pick up. Recently, China cuts its 2015 economic growth forecast to 7%.

And once again, US economic data was weak across the board.

February Capacity Utilization and Manufacturing Production nubers came in below consensus estimates, while February readings were revised down for both.

The March Empire Manufacturing Index was 6.9 vs. the 8.0 consensus, and the March NAHB Housing Market Index was 53 vs. the expected 56.

Nonetheless, the market didn't skip a beat.

Crude oil, however, was weak again, dropping below $44 after data firm Genscape said that oil stock supplies in Cushing, Oklahoma rose significantly last week.

However, following an early dip towards January lows, the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) took off like a rocket, finishing up 1.4%.

Tuesday's Financial Outlook

Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. ET, February housing starts and building permits data will be repored.

Tech investors will be paying attention to Adobe (ADBE) and Oracle's respective earnings reports, both of which will be reported after the close.

Overseas, Germany's ZEW Economic Sentiment Survey will be released, as will the Reserve Bank of Australia's meeting minutes and Japan's Policy Statement.

Twitter: @T3Live
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