Stocks Open Higher: McDonald's, Apple Rise On The Dow – Investor's Business Daily

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Stocks opened higher Monday, despite a weak reading on New York manufacturing activity in April.

The Dow Jones industrial average and Nasdaq climbed 0.3% while the S&P 500 was up 0.2%.

In Motion: McDonald’s, MoneyGram, Incyte, Lilly

Banks and financials remain a big piece of the week’s reporting news, with quarterly results due out this week from Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), Visa (V) and others.

M&T Bank (MTB) rolled out one of Monday’s early earnings reports and rose more than 1%. Results easily topped analysts’ first-quarter expectations. The company repurchased $523 million in shares during the quarter and raised its annual dividend to 75 cents, from 70 cents.

McDonald’s (MCD) rose 0.5% and Apple (AAPL) 0.4% on the Dow. Wells Fargo upgraded McDonald’s to outperform from market perform. Apple gained after RBC Capital raised its price target to 157, from 155 and maintained its outperform rating. But Pacific Crest Securities raised concerns about difficulties with fingerprint sensors on Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8.

Pfizer (PFE), Gilead Sciences (GILD) and Abbvie (ABBV) all rose as Incyte (INCY) dropped more than 10% in early action. The Wilmingon, Del.-based biotech reported Friday the Food and Drug Administration denied the application for the Incyte-Eli Lilly (LLY) rheumatoid arthritis treatment baricitinib. Some estimates had put the annual value of the drug near $2 billion. Incyte shares plunged below the 50-day moving average in heavy volume, triggering a sell signal. Eli Lilly shares dropped 4%. It also broke below the 50-day line but remains about 1% below a 83.34 buy point.

Gilead gained 0.5%, Abbvie jumped 1%. Pfizer was flat. Pfizer, Gilead and Abbvie all compete in the market for rheumatoid arthritic treatments.

China’s Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) climbed 1% at the open after its financial unit, Ant Financial, raised its offer for global payment service MoneyGram International (MGI) to $1.2 billion. Ant’s initial offer of $880 million was topped by Euronet Worldwide (EEFT), which placed a $955 million offer in March. Moneygram shares rose 6% at the open. Euronet shares rose 1%.

IBD Leaderboard stock Alibaba is in a buy range above an alternative handle buy point of 110.55.

Medical diagnostics product maker Alere (ALR) swept up 17% at the open. The Waltham, Mass.-based company announced Friday it and Abbott Laboratories (ABT) had mutually dismissed competing lawsuits, and Abbott had reduced its takeover offer to 51, from 56 a share. The deal now values Alere at $5.3 billion and is expected to close during the third quarter. Abbott dropped 0.3% at the open.

Empire State Factories Slow: Up Next: Builder Confidence

Manufacturing slowed sharply in the New York region in April, sending the New York Federal Reserve’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey to a reading of 5.2. The reading was still positive, but down from 16.4 in March and far below economists expectations for 15, although well above levels posted through nearly all of 2015 and 2016. New orders retreated and unfilled orders slowed and delivery times lengthened, but shipments edged up and gauges of both employment and hours worked remained firm.

The National Association of Home Builders’ releases its builder confidence survey at 10 a.m. ET. The gauge is for April.

Internationally, the readout on the global stock market today was spotty due to the holiday schedule. In Japan, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 posted a 0.1% gain Monday, held back by a dollar weakened against the yen by concerns over North Korea.

China’s Shanghai Composite ended down 0.7% after a top regulator pledged a resolute crackdown on risky market action. The Hong Kong stock exchange remained closed on holiday. In Europe, exchanges in London, Paris and Frankfurt all remained closed for the holiday.

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