Dow adds 229 points, silver soars as GameStop grinds lower

Silver rose over 9% the biggest one day percentage gain since March of 2009

U.S. equity markets rallied Monday as investors repositioned popular trades and as  COVID-19 relief talks progressed on Capitol Hill.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 33878.42 +201.15 +0.60%
SP500 S&P 500 4141.68 +0.09 +0.00%
I:COMP n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 229 points, or 0.77%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.61% and 2.55%, respectively.

The rally was broad as all 11 of the major S&P sectors posted gains.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
SLV ISHARES SILVER TRUST 23.51 +0.01 +0.02%
AG FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER 16.67 -0.21 -1.24%

In markets, silver soared $2.498 to $29.398 an ounce, its highest in eight years. The spike in the precious metal came amid reports investors on the message board site Reddit are buying the exchange-traded fund iShares Silver Trust -- something its members have deniedThe ETF (exchange-traded fund) closed up more than 7% and was up as much as 10% during trading Monday.

Stakes in silver producers such as Fortuna Silver Mines and Pan American Silver also surfed the silver wave seeing increases of 17% and 12% respetively.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GME GAMESTOP 169.44 +28.65 +20.35%
BBBY BED BATH & BEYOND, INC. 24.82 -3.11 -11.14%
BB BLACKBERRY LTD. 9.21 +0.11 +1.24%

The so-called silver squeeze comes as Reddit traders in recent weeks have been banding together to run up the price of stocks that have been under attack from short-sellers, including GameStop Corp. and AMC Entertainment Group, along with Bed Bath & Beyond and BlackBerry.

In Washington, President Biden was set to meet with 10 Republican senators, including Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine, to present their plan for a $600 billion COVID-19 relief package.

The plan would cost less than one-third of Biden’s $1.9 trillion proposal, which Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., threatened to pass through the reconciliation process, which would require a simple majority as opposed to the 60 votes normally needed to approve the legislation.

In deals, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. held merger talks in early 2020, according to The Wall Street Journal, after the COVID-19 pandemic brought the global economy to a standstill and zapped demand for oil and natural gas. A combination between the two companies, which were both descendants of Standard Oil, would be one of the largest mergers ever.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
XOM EXXON MOBIL CORP. 57.82 +2.12 +3.81%
CVX CHEVRON CORP. 104.63 +2.33 +2.28%

Elsewhere, hydraulics maker Eaton Corp. agreed to buy privately held air-to-air refueling equipment maker Cobham Mission Systems for $2.83 billion, including $130 million in tax benefits.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
ETN EATON CORP. 140.38 +0.64 +0.45%

European markets were higher across the board with Britain’s FTSE 100 trading up 0.92%, France’s CAC 40 advancing 1.16% and Germany’s DAX 30 strengthening by 1.41%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led the gains in Asia, climbing 2.15%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 and China’s Shanghai Composite rallied 1.55% and 0.64%, respectively.