Despite a poor report from the Institute for Supply Management showing that the Purchasing Managers Index contracted in May to 49, from April's 50.7, the major indexes all closed the day on high notes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) rose 138 points, or 0.92%, after losing 208 points Friday of last week alone and 187 points over the course of the shortened four-day trading week. The blue-chip index now sits at 15,254, while the S&P 500 rose to 1,640, after it increased by 0.59%. And despite trading in the red for the majority of the day, even the Nasdaq closed the day in the black, as it increased by 0.27%.
2 Dow winners
The Dow's two biggest winners today were Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), which rose by 3.75% and 3.95%, respectively. Merck received favorable results from a study that had been conducted on its lambrolizumab cancer treatment drug, which reduced the size of tumors dramatically in 38% of the patients who took the medication. Although the treatment is still in the early stages of testing, those encouraging results have given investors hope that Merck is on the verge of a really big breakthrough. The FDA has also already given the drug the "breakthrough therapy" designation, which will allow it to pass through the approval process more quickly.
Intel's catalyst today came from two sources -- an analyst, and Samsung. The analyst was from FBR and upgraded Intel from "market perform" to "outperform." Its price target on the stock is now $28, as FBR believes that Intel's growth will continue despite the slowdown in PC sales. The expected growth will probably come from the mobile market, which was the other reason Intel rose today. Last Friday, reports began swirling that Samsung is going to be using Intel chips in its new Galaxy tablet. The news was confirmed today.
2 Dow losers
Shares of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) ended the day as the two worst-performing Dow stocks and the only two components that ended the day in the red. Bank of America lost 0.81%, while JPMorgan was cut lower by 0.18%. Investors with money in the banks may be concerned with the short-term effects that rising interest rates will have on profits. But Bank of America fell slightly more than JPMorgan as it went back in front of a judge again today to discuss the $8.5 billion settlement it has with investors. While some argue that the amount is fair, others, led by AIG, claim it's too small, considering the amount of outstanding claims against the company. It's been estimated that B of A could be liable for up to $60 billion, but most believe that figure is much higher than what it will ultimately end up paying.
Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what caused the Dow's winners and losers of the day, and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter: @mthalman5513.
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