Stocks rally on Monday as the U.S. dollar eased back from its recent rally. Volume was light ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting on interest rates. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Stocks bounced back after three weeks of losses. Sparking it: a setback in the greenback. But volume was light ahead of the Fed policy makers' meeting this week. The central bank is expected to clarify the timing of rate hikes in its statement, and in the press conference following it. Hiring has been picking up ahead of the meeting, notes OppenheimerFunds' Alec Young. SOUNDBITE: ALEC YOUNG, INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, OPPENHEIMERFUNDS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There's been a clear trend towards improvement. We saw that in the February payrolls that we received recently, so I think the odds are that they will remove "patient" from the statement indicating that they're within a couple of meetings of that initial rate hike." Investors got some negative economic data. Factory production fell in February for the third straight month. Also down three in a row: homebuilder sentiment in March. Endo's stock rose after it got knocked out in the bidding war for Salix Pharmaceuticals. Valeant hiked its offer for Salix to seal the deal for $10.9 billion. Netflix shares fell. Evercore ISI cut its rating to sell from hold and slashed its price target. Evercore says increasing competition among distributors and more choice among content providers make for an unattractive picture for the video streaming company. Avon dropping. It'll be replaced on the S&P 500 by apparel maker HanesBrands on March 20. On the upside: Life Time Fitness. Leonard Green & Partners and TPG are taking the gym operator private in a deal worth more than $4 billion. Procter & Gamble's shares rallied after Bloomberg reported it's exploring a sale or IPO of some of its beauty brands. P&G dismissed the report as speculation. Despite the drop in the dollar Monday, European investors celebrated the euro's recent weakness, sending stocks sharply higher. The German DAX broke above 12,000 for the first time.