Energy, Materials Shares Fuel Wall Street Gains

FOX Business: The Power to Prosper

Energy and materials stocks rallied on the day as the commodities complex rebounded from last week's rout, bringing the broader markets along for the ride.

Today's Markets

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 45.9 points, or 0.36%, to 12,685, the S&P 500 gained 6.1 points, or 0.45%, to 1,346 and the Nasdaq Composite traded higher by 15.7 points, or 0.55%, to 2,843. The FOX 50 climbed 1.3 points to 944.

Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) were among the energy players that were solidly higher, while Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) and United States Steel (NYSE:X) led the pack of materials stocks.

Last week was a rollercoaster rides for the markets as traders closely eyed mixed news on the economic front and a major selloff in the commodities markets.

Whereas the condition of the labor market was in the spotlight in the prior two trading sessions, inflation will come in to focus toward the end of this week.  A report on producer prices is expected on Thursday, and fresh data on the prices consumers pay is on tap for Friday.

Many economists fear high commodity costs may be seeping into the broader price level, creating a stickier -- and more difficult to combat -- inflation situation.

"The commodity, and especially oil story, remains the most important risk to the U.S. economy," Jan Hatzius, Goldman Sachs' chief U.S. economists wrote in a research note over the weekend.

Oil prices crumbled  $16.75, or 14.7%, last week on a mixture of a falling euro exchange rate and concerns high prices would cut into energy demand.  Still, Hatzius notes, "the fundamental story for rising oil prices remains very much intact" because the growth in oil demand might outweigh crude producers' ability to ramp up production.

Crude jumped $5.37, or 5.5%, to $102.55 a barrel. Wholesale RBOB gasoline prices soared 18 cents, or 6.1%, to $3.28 a gallon -- the biggest one-day percentage gain since 2009, putting prices within an 8% reach of its record close.

On the consumer level, gasoline prices ticked slightly lower over the weekend.  A gallon of regular gas cost $3.96 on average nationwide, up from $3.75 last month and $2.91 last year, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge report.

Gold was higher by $11.60, or 0.78%, to $1,503 a troy ounce.  Silver, which plunged 27% last week, was higher by $1.83, or 5.2%, to $37.11 a troy ounce.

Standard and Poor's downgraded Greece's debt rating further into junk status to B from BB- amid concerns the country would restructure terms on its commercial debt. Greece's sovereign debt crisis has spawned fears throughout Europe.

The euro lost 0.13% on the dollar and the greenback was lower by 0.3% against a basket of world currencies.  The euro had its worst week since January after the European Central Bank didn't gesture at hiking rates and an officially-denied report Greece was mulling a Euro Zone exit spooked the currency market.

Corporate News

CME Group (NYSE:CME) plans on buying back up to $750 million of shares over the next year.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) unveiled plans to buy cellphone chipmaker Icera for $367 million in cash.

Silver Wheaton's (NYSE:SLW) first quarter profit soared by 142% to $122.2 million, or 34 cents a share, on high sliver prices.

McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) posted global same-store sales growth of 6% on expanding demand for its McCafe beverages in the U.S. and premium offerings in Europe.

Elan (NYSE:ELN) is selling its drug delivery business to Alkermes (NASDAQ:ALKS) for $960 million in cash and stock.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) will commence trading at roughly $45.20 a share as a result of a 1-for-10 stock split.

Foreign Markets

European shares ended the day in the red while Asia was mixed.

The English FTSE 100 was down 0.57% to 5,943, the French CAC 40 was off 1.3% to 4,007 and the German DAX fell 1.1% to 7,411.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 edged lower by 0.66% to 9,794 and the Chinese Hang Seng gained 0.76% to 23,336.