After a volatile start, March appears to be going out like a lion. The broader U.S. stock market averages posted solid gains Monday, following the earlier lead of Asian and European markets.
The energy sector was the big winner, even though crude oil prices fell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.5% on the session, moving back into positive territory for 2015.
Monday snapped a crazy trading streak. Until today, the S&P 500 had not gained two for consecutive days since Feb. 16, which according to the folks at Bespoke Investment Group, marked the longest streak since World War II.
The "Merger Monday" theme was present today, especially in the health care sector. Horizon Pharma (HZNP), Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) and UnitedHealth (UNH) each announced deals, totaling more than $17 billion. Catamaran (CTRX), one of the takeover targets and Horizon, an acquirer, gained 24% and 18%, respectively.
Looking ahead to Tuesday morning, two consumer-related names, Conn's (CONN) and Movado (MOV), headline a limited earnings calendar. On the economic front, we'll get a look at the S&P/Case-Shiller home pricing data, before the market open.