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Stocks rally to recover from Friday sell-off

Traders work on the floor of the New

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street on March 6, 2015. Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

Stocks closed higher Monday as investors shook off fears from last week over a possible interest rate increase this summer.

The market had slumped on Friday after a strong jobs report boosted expectations that the Federal Reserve would raise rates in June.

General Motors gained 3.1 percent after announcing a $5 billion stock buyback to appease an activist investor, closing up $1.12 at $37.66.

At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up nearly 140 points, or about 0.8 percent, at 17,995.7. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 8.2 points, or about 0.4 percent, to 2,079.4. The Nasdaq added 15.1 points, or about 0.3 percent, to 4,942.4.

SIX YEARS ON: A bull market for stocks reached its sixth anniversary on Monday. On this day in 2009, the S&P 500 bottomed out at 676.53 after slumping nearly 60 percent in 18 months in the wake of the housing market collapse and the Great Recession. Since then the index has tripled thanks to a recovering economy and record company earnings.

APPLE WATCH: Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the company's smartwatch at an event in San Francisco. Apple also announced that it was cutting the price of Apple TV by $30 to $69 and is partnering with HBO to offer its stand-alone streaming service, HBO Go, on Apple devices. Apple's stock closed up 54 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $127.14.

FED TALK DOMINATES: Stocks slumped on Friday after a Labor Department report showed that the U.S. added 295,000 jobs in February. That ratcheted up expectations that Federal Reserve policymakers will raise interest rates as soon as June. The Fed has held interest rates close to zero for more than six years to stimulate growth following the financial crisis and Great Recession.

ECB STARTS QE: The European Central Bank started its $65 billion per month bond-buying program on Monday. The bank hopes the purchases will stimulate the eurozone economy and get inflation back to the bank's target of just below 2 percent. At present, consumer prices in the 19-country currency bloc are falling at an annual rate of 0.3 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 91 cents to close at $50.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 46 cents to $59.27 per barrel in London.


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