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Bears Cry as NASDAQ Blasts Through 5000


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

The NASDAQ Composite hit the 5,000 mark for the first time since 2000 despite a batch of mixed US economic news.

The index was boosted by strong action in leading names like (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX), as well as the semiconductor sector, which saw major deal. NXP Semiconductors (NXP) announced its $17 billion acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor (FSL), creating a giant in automotive chips.

The NASDAQ finished at 5008.09, up 0.9% vs. a 0.6% gain for the S&P 500.

Personal Income and Spending were both below expectations, as were Construction Spending and the ISM Manufacturing Index.

The PCE Deflator, which is the Fed's preferred inflation measure, rose 1.3% year-over-year, which was in-line with expectations.

And on the plus side, the Markit US Manufacturing PMI came in at 55.1, beating the 54.3 consensus.

Pharmaceutical name Actavis (ACT) said it would complete a 9-tranche bond offering this week to fund its acquisition of Botox producer Allergan (AGN). Actavis is expected to raise in excess of $20 billion.

Morgan Stanley (MS) raised its target price on Apple (AAPL) to $160 from $133, citing the iPhone maker's growth potential in areas like wearable technology and cars. Apple rose 0.5% to $129.09.

Lumber Liquidators (LL) took a 25% tumble to $38.83 due to a negative report on 60 Minutes. According to 60 Minutes, Lumber Liquidators has been selling laminate floors that do not meet California health codes.

US Treasury yields broke higher as demand for bonds waned, with the 10-year yield rising 4 bps.

Overseas, China was in focus after its central bank cuts its benchmark lending and deposit rates by 25 basis points. Additionally, the February HSBC/Markit China PMI rose to 50.7, edging out the 50.1 consensus. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.78%.

European markets were mixed in what looked like a sell-the-news reaction following the rallyinto Greece's bailout extension, which was approved last week.

Monday's Financial Outlook

For the first day in quite a while, the economic calendar will be fairly light, with the February ISM New York report at 9:45 a.m., followed by auto sales at 2:00 p.m.

We'll see more data on the global front with Swiss, Canadian, and Australian GDP, German retail sales, and HSBC's China Composite PMI all on tap.

In earnings, AutoZone (AZO), Best Buy (BBY), and Scotia Bank (BNS) all report before the opening bell.

Twitter: @Minyanville

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