Stocks finished off the week with strong gains on all three major indexes, in part driven by the Fed's dovish tone, and an improving economic outlook. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Financial stocks helped Wall Street extend its win streak into a sixth week. And the S&P 500 returned to positive territory this year. Investors brushed aside data showing consumer confidence fell in March to its lowest level in five months. Ken Kamen of Mercadien Asset Management: (SOUNDBITE) KEN KAMEN, PRESIDENT, MERCADIEN ASSET MANAGEMENT, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The Fed's action this past week to say we're going to slow the rate of growth of the interest rate cycle really is giving people some reason to not be so fearful." Sparking that surge in bank stocks: JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America announced they'll buy back more stock. Starwood Hotels is ditching its deal with Marriott, agreeing instead to a buyout from a group led by China's Anbang Insurance. Investors bid up both Starwood and Marriott. Tiffany's quarterly profit and sales fell, and it issued a weak outlook. But earnings beat expectations, and its gross margin grew. Shares rose. The company behind the controversial keystone XL pipeline, TransCanada, is buying Columbia Pipeline for $10.2 billion. Columbia's shares rose while TransCanada's fell. In Europe, tech and auto shares drove stocks higher. But the FTSE 100 inched lower.