U.S. stocks rallied at the start on Monday as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy addressed a news conference to push their plan for better enforcement of the region's deficit rules. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 137 points to 12,156.79. The S&P 500 Index rose 16 points to 1,260. The Nasdaq Composite added 28 points to 2,655. It doesn't take much positive developments out of Europe to push the markets higher. The financials are in the lead whenever the news out of Europe is on the upswing. JP Morgan and Bank of America are higher by 4%. Citigroup is up 6%. The insurance stocks look good. Metlife is up 5% after lowering fourth quarter guidance, but maintaining 2012 guidance. Metlife will make around $5 a share in earnings next year and the book value will rise to $56 a share, yet the stock trades around $33 a share. Crazy. Hartford is up 4% after selling a unit this weekend. The tech sector is also performing much better. SAP made news buying out a software firm for $3.4 billion. Rival, Netsuite is up 4% on speculation they are next. Ebay, Sandisk, and Altera are higher on upgrades. Research in Motion continues to stumble. The energy and materials look good. Transocean is jumping 5% on an upgrade. Cliffs Natural Resources is higher as well on an upgrade. Goldcorp is up 2% after hiking their dividend. In the retail space Staples is higher on a positive piece in Barrons. American Eagle is higher on an upgrade. Dollar General is up 3% after beating earnings estimates. Through the first hour the averages remained near the highs of the day. One of the few sectors languishing this morning is consumer staples. Through the morning the averages moved sideways. In the afternoon the averages drifted off the highs picking up speed on news S&P 500 put 17 European nations on negative watch. The weakest sectors are consumer staples and pharmaceuticals. The financials for once are holding on to their gains. By the last hour the averages had give up most of the gains only to rebound into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 78 points at 12,097. The S&P 500 Index climbed 12 points, or 1%, to 1,257. The Nasdaq Composite added 28 points, or 1.1%, to 2,655.
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