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Stocks Rise As Syria Fears Ease

Jeremy Lutz - MarketClub

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Hello traders everywhere. Wall Street is off to a good start this week as fears of an escalating conflict in Syria have eased. The DOW has gained as much as 200 points, with Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK) rising more than 2% on news that their immunotherapy drug Keytruda plus chemotherapy significantly improved overall survival in newly-diagnosed patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. The S&P 500 has climbed 0.75%, and the Nasdaq gaining 0.65% in the morning session.

On Saturday, the U.S. military conducted precision missile strikes against the Syrian government as a response to a chemical attack carried out in the country. The attack was conducted in conjunction with France and the U.K. The Pentagon described the U.S.-led strikes as a "justified, legitimate and proportionate response" to the Syrian regime's continued use of chemical weapons.

Crude oil has dropped from the three-year high that it posted to end the week as concerns about conflicts in the Middle East eased. Oil had dropped as much as 1.9% on the day but has settled around the $66.50 level, down about .55%. Last week, oil jumped to the highest levels since 2014 as tensions mounted in the Middle East region that's home to almost half the world's crude. Meanwhile, U.S. oil output has surged for seven straight weeks and drilling activity is at the highest since 2015. Kuwait Oil Minister Bakheet Al-Rashidi said OPEC and allied producers will consider extending their agreement to reduce output into 2019 when they gather in June.

Key Events To Watch This Week:

  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley among companies reporting results
  • John Williams, soon to be president of the New York Fed, speaks on the economic outlook in Madrid on Tuesday.
  • China GDP and Japanese inflation are the featured data points in Asia.
  • Trump welcomes Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday. North Korea and trade will probably be discussed.
  • Mining investors will get to take the pulse of the global industry this week, with Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP offering quarterly production reports.
Key Levels To Watch This Week: S&P 500 (CME:SP500): 2,741.38 Dow (INDEX:DJI): 24,977.65 NASDAQ (NASDAQ:COMP): 6,630.67 Gold (NYMEX:GC.M18.E): 1,330.10 Crude Oil (NYMEX:CL.K18.E): 61.93 U.S. Dollar (NYBOT:DX.M18.E): 88.53 Bitcoin (CME:BRTI): 6,194.46

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