Insurance companies among day's biggest gainers
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U.S. stock-market indexes booked their biggest one-day gains in months, while the benchmark S&P 500 ended the session at an all-time high on Monday, in a broad rally led by financials and technology shares.
Wall Street optimism was underpinned by Hurricane Irma delivering a less forceful hit on Florida than expected and North Korea failing to conduct another nuclear missile test over the weekend, reviving investor appetite for assets perceived as risky, such as equities.
The S&P 500 advanced 26.68 points, or 1.1%, to 2,488.11, with all 11 main sectors finishing higher. This was the biggest percentage gain since April 24.
Financials were by far the biggest gainer, up 1.7%. Insurance companies led that sector's gains, boosted by the lighter-than-expected damage from Irma. Travelers Companies Inc.(TRV) climbed 2.3% and was one of the biggest boosts to the Dow, while Progressive Corp. (PGR) was up 2.2%. American International Group Inc. (AIG) rose 1.7%.
The PowerShares KBW Property & Casualty Insurance Portfolio(KBWP) rallied 3.1%.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 259.58 points, or 1.2%, to 22,057.37, its biggest one-day percentage rise since March 1. Of the 30 components on the Dow, 28 ended with gains.
The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 72.07 points, or 1.1%, to 6,432.26.
"It's basically a relief rally as there has been less damage from Hurricane Irma than expected and no rocket launches from North Korea. It is hard to understand why the simple lack of bad news is sending prices higher, but we must respect that fact -- the momentum is still strong," said Wouter Sturkenboom, senior investment strategist at Russell Investments.
Hurricane Irma was downgraded to a Category 1 storm early Monday after tearing a destructive path across South Florida on Sunday, leaving about 6 million residents without power.
Read:Though weakened, Hurricane Irma continues to pound Florida (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/worst-case-scenario-as-hurricane-irma-makes-landfall-in-florida-2017-09-10)
Investors may have gotten another break from easing geopolitical tensions. North Korea failed to conduct a missile test over the weekend, which some predicted the country might do to mark the anniversary of its founding.
Stocks to watch: Shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.(TEVA) surged 19% after the Israeli drug company on Monday named Lundbeck's Kare Schultz as its new chief executive. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/teva-names-lundbecks-kare-schultz-as-new-ceo-2017-09-11)
Apple Inc. (AAPL) jumped 1.8% as it prepared to unveil its latest iPhone on Tuesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-apple-iphones-key-feature-is-its-price-tag-2017-09-09).
Tesla Inc.(TSLA) rose 5.9%. The electric-car maker sent out a free software update (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla-boosts-range-for-some-vehicles-in-florida-to-escape-irma-2017-09-10) temporarily extending the battery life for some of its cars to help owners evacuate the looming Irma storm.
Need to know:Here's the next catalyst for Tesla that has bulls fired up (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-the-next-catalyst-for-tesla-that-has-bulls-fired-up-2017-09-11)
Shares of Equifax Inc.(EFX) continued to drop in the wake of news that the company suffered a cyberattack in which hackers stole sensitive information, such as social security numbers, of 143 million Americans. The stock declined 8.2%, adding to a 13% plunge on Friday.
Read: Equifax's data breach costs investors a lot more than it will cost the company (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/equifaxs-data-breach-costs-investors-a-lot-more-than-it-will-cost-the-company-2017-09-11)
Shares of Marstercard Inc. jumped 3.5%, trading at its highest level ever. The stock is up 37% year to date. Rival Visa Inc.(V) was up 1.7%.
Other markets: Asian markets had a largely stronger day (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-rev-up-after-lull-in-north-korea-tensions-2017-09-10), keying off reduced fears over North Korea. The Nikkei 225 index bounced back from its worst week in seven months to gain 1.4% as the Japanese yen, a traditional haven in times of geopolitical and economic stress, weakened.
European stocks ended higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-bounce-up-as-appetite-for-risk-returns-2017-09-11), led by gains for insurers as Hurricane Irma lessened in severity.
The ICE Dollar Index rose 0.6% to 91.860, led by gains for the greenback against the yen , which rose to Yen109.44 from Yen107.84 late Friday. Gold , another haven asset, fell $20, or 1.5%, to $1,330.80 an ounce. Long-dated Treasurys sold off, sending the yield on the 10-year bond up 7 basis points to 2.13%.
Oil prices were mixed, with WTI crude up 1.2%, to $48.05 a barrel. Brent crude was flat at $53.70 a barrel.
Barbara Kollmeyer contributed to this report.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 11, 2017 16:32 ET (20:32 GMT)