The Nasdaq closes above 4500 for the first time since 2000, as tensions seemed to cool in Ukraine, and a new bidder, Dollar General, emerged for discounter Family Dollar. Bobbi Rebell reports.
U.S. Markets started the week off strong- The Nasdaq closing at a 14 year high, above 4500 for the first time since March of 2000. The Dow adding more than one percent- as tensions in Ukraine seem to cool. Gold was down and the dollar rose. Oil hit a 14-month low. Mergers also in the news- Discount retailer Dollar General has offered to buy Family Dollar for close to $9 billion dollars- that works out to $4 higher than the existing bid from Dollar Tree. Shares of Dollar General and Family Dollar rose- though Dollar Tree fell. Housing stocks moved higher- the National Association of Home Builders Wells Fargo Housing Market index showed August homebuilder sentiment rose to its highest level since January It's been a good earnings season. According to Thomson Reuters data through Monday, of the 467 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings, 67.9 percent have topped analyst expectations, besting the 63 beat rate since 1994 and the 67 percent rate for the past four quarters. Sources tell Reuters Procter & Gamble is working with advisors- including Goldman Sachs- to possibly sell off some of its underperforming brands. Nothing is for sure yet but sources told Reuters they could include Duracell and Braun shavers. Buyers could include private equity firms. Shares of P&G were higher on Monday. Community Health Systems, one of the biggest U.S. hospital groups, says it was the victim of a cyber attack from a sophisticated hacking group in China. Social Security numbers and personal data belonging to 4.5 million patients were stolen- the biggest attack of this type since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website started keeping track back in 2009. Paramount pictures "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" topped the weekend box office- beating Disney's "Guardians of the Galaxy" in a battle of superhero misfits. 20th Century Fox's R-rated comedy "Let's Be Cops" came in third. Shares of the companies behind those movies all rose in Monday's trading. Euro markets were higher- on what appears to be easing tension between Ukraine and Russia.