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Market Recap: Markets End Quarter on a Good Note

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Markets closed up today:

▲ Dow: +0.40 percent

Nasdaq: +0.91 percent

S&P: +0.75 percent

Precious metals:

Gold: (NYSE:GLD) down to $1,679.19 an ounce

Silver: (NYSE:SLV) up +2.14 percent to settle at $33.00

Commodities:

Oil: +2.04 percent

Market were up today because:=

 

A positive report on U.S. manufacturing overshadowed concerns about weaker global growth and lifted stocks to multi-year highs Monday. The gain added to the best first quarter for stocks in more than a decade.

The Institute for Supply Management said that its index of manufacturing activity rose strongly this month. A measure of manufacturing employment rose to a nine-month high.

Stocks in the U.S. and Europe had tilted negative but rose after the ISM report. The S&P 500 closed up 10.57 points, or 0.8 percent, at 1,419.04. That was its highest close since May 19, 2008.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 52.45 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 13,264.49. It hasn't closed that high since the last day of 2007. The Nasdaq composite average gained 28.13, or 0.9 percent, to 3,119.70.

From January through March, the Dow rose 8 percent and the S&P 12 percent, the best first quarter for those indexes since 1998. The Nasdaq rose 19 percent, its best first quarter since 1991.

The rally was broad, lifting all 10 of the S&P 500's industry groups. Rising commodity prices gave materials and energy companies some of the strongest gains.

A weaker report on U.S. construction activity kept traders' enthusiasm in check. Builders slowed their activity for a second straight month in February, pushing construction spending down by the largest amount in seven months.

The conflicting U.S. economic reports followed mixed data from overseas.

European markets soared in their final 90 minutes of trading after the U.S. factory report was released. France's CAC 40 rose 1.1 percent, London's FTSE 100 gained 1.8 percent, and Germany's DAX added 1.6 percent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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