Health-care companies, energy and consumer-staple shares advanced the most today, adding at least 0.7%. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, which measures the cost of using options as insurance against declines, fell 6% to 12.91
Monsanto rallied 3.8% to $103.19. The company will dismiss its claim that DuPont infringed patents for Roundup Ready soybeans, setting aside a $1 billion jury award, and DuPont will dismiss its claim that Monsanto uses monopoly power to stifle innovation, the companies said in a joint statement. The world’s largest seed companies also agreed to enter into licensing agreements for making genetically modified crops. DuPont fell 0.4% to $48.90.
Netflix surged 5.7% to $191.03. Pacific Crest raised its price target on the company to $225 from its previous estimate of $160, writing in a note that “Netflix is the future of non-live video.”
Consumer durables and apparel retailers had the only loss as a group among 24 S&P 500 industries. The International Council of Shopping Centers cut its top-end forecast for March same-store sales. “An abnormally cold bout of weather in eastern two-thirds of the country brought a chill to consumers and their interest in spring goods—especially apparel,” Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist, wrote.
Gap lost 2.6% to $35.04 and Macy’s slumped 1.6% to $41.67. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. slid 1.7% to $45.60.