Stocks Get Hot

A broad rally pushed stock prices sharply higher on Monday. Evidence of stability and growth in several key market sectors led the advance.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 235.44 points to 8504.08. The Nasdaq composite index rose 52.22 points to 1732.36 and the S&P 500 stock index was up 26.83 points to 909.71.

On the day, the Nasdaq gained 3.11 percent, the S&P 500 was up by 3.04 percent and the Dow rose 2.85 percent.

Among local stocks: Cymer gained $2.18 to $26.91; Cubic was up $1.78 to $35.42; and, Qualcomm rose $1.27 to $41.99.

Shares of homebuilders and banks led the rally. A report that homebuilder confidence rose in April pushed up shares of the homebuilders. KB Homes gained $1.27 to $16.72. A report on new home construction activity will be released on Tuesday.

Also adding confidence was a quarterly earnings report from Lowe's, the large home improvement company. The report beat expectations and that sent the stock up $1.49 to $19.94.

Reports to new tensions in Nigeria sent oil prices sharply higher. Crude closed at $59.03 a barrel, up $2.69.

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