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US Stocks Erase Last Week's Losses; S&P Ends With Nearly Four-Year High

--Stocks higher after Bernanke says low rates are needed to stir job creation --DJIA, S&P 500 erase last week's declines --February pending home sales decline versus expectations for a modest gain --Dallas Fed data expands this month, but slower than in February By Chris Dieterich OF DOW JONES NEWSWIRES NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Stocks advanced after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke emphasized that low interest rates are still needed to support the labor market, driving the S&P 500 to another nearly four-year high. Stocks opened higher on Monday and then padded gains throughout trading session, wiping away all of last week's losses, which were the steepest this year. Before the opening bell, Bernanke said that continued accommodative policies were needed to confront deep problems in the jobs market. Some interpreted the statement to mean the door remains open for another round of monetary stimulus from the central bank. "The Bernanke speech reiterated that the Fed may not do anything now, but they aren't taking further policy options off the table," said Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Asset Management Group. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 160.90 points, or 1.2%, to 13241.63. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 19.40 points, or 1.4%, to 1416.51 and ended the session with its highest close since May 19, 2008. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 54.65 points, or 1.8%, to 3122.57, its highest finish in more than a decade. Health care stocks like Merck, up 1.7%, and Pfizer, up 1.6%, spearheaded Monday's gains, followed closely by technology and consumer discretionary stocks. All 10 of the S&P 500's sectors gained ground. American Express rose 2.5%, J.P. Morgan Chase rose 2.2% and United Technologies rose 2.1%. A pair of soft readings on the domestic economy did nothing to hinder Monday's stock-market gains. Pending home sales fell slightly in February versus expectations for a modest gain. Separately, data showed business conditions in Texas-area manufacturing are expanding this month but at a slower pace than in February. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 closed up 0.9%, after Germany's Ifo Institute said its business-confidence index for March slightly exceeded expectations and rose to the highest reading in nine months. Concerns about whether Spain can implement austerity measures eased after Germany officially backed down from its strict stance against bolstering Europe's bailout funds. The tone for today's gains was set by "better data out of Germany, combined with plans for a larger firewall to help prevent contain problems in the euro zone," Stone said. In corporate news, Lions Gate Entertainment climbed 4.5% after "The Hunger Games" grossed $155 million in North America over the weekend, enough to be the third-largest opening weekend ever. Cal-Maine Foods fell 6.1% after the egg producer reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that topped estimates, though revenue fell short of expectations, and gross margins declined with rising feed costs. Arena Pharmaceuticals surged 25% after the company said its weight-loss drug candidate lorcaserin was accepted for review by European regulators, and confirmed that a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee will meet to discuss the company's resubmitted application. Safeway was the biggest decliner on the S&P 500, down 3.4%, after Credit Suisse cut its stock-recommendation rating to "neutral" from "outperform," citing concern that liabilities for the grocery-store operator's pension plans may affect the stock's valuation in the long term. Buffalo Wild Wings jumped 7.3% as analysts at Stephens raised the stock's price target, noting expectations for the sports bar and grill to post strong first-quarter results. -By Chris Dieterich, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2611; christopher.dieterich@dowjones.com

Stock News for Safeway (SWY)
DateTimeHeadline
12/19/201418:09:18Safeway, Albertsons Agree to Sell Stores to Gain Merger Antitrust...
10/15/201409:51:04U.S. Hot Stocks: Hot Stocks to Watch
08/14/201421:30:10Supervalu Investigating Potential Data Breach
07/25/201415:02:08Greenlight Notes Short Positions in Safeway, Lorillard -Reuters
07/13/201406:18:25MARKET SNAPSHOT: Tech, Bank Earnings To Test Economic Recovery
04/04/201411:12:42Blackstone Reaches $5.4 Billion Deal for Gates Global
03/17/201417:37:48Attorneys General Urge Major Retailers to Stop Selling Tobacco...
03/17/201416:00:51Major Retailers Urged to Stop Selling Tobacco Products
03/17/201415:31:14Attorneys General Urge Major Retailers to Stop Selling Tobacco...
03/17/201413:17:32Correction to Tobacco Products Story
03/17/201410:43:20Attorneys General Urge Major Retailers to Stop Selling Tobacco...
03/07/201416:53:55MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks End Mostly Higher; S&P 500 Notches Record
03/07/201415:03:30MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Mostly Rise; Nasdaq Slips Into Red
03/06/201419:54:36Cerberus Agrees to Buy Safeway for $9 Billion
02/20/201416:54:51MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Close Higher On Markit PMI, Deal Boost
02/20/201412:01:37MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Rise, Shaking Off Weak Philly Fed Data
02/20/201410:45:08MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Waver After Philly Fed Disappoints
02/19/201415:56:12MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Fall After Fed Minutes
02/19/201415:18:30MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Move Lower After Fed Minutes
02/19/201413:22:12MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Abruptly Reverse Amid Nervousness

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