April 18, 2016 - 5:41 PM EDT
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Dow Flirts with 9-mo. High

Equities south of the border closed higher Monday, with consumer discretionary and health-care stocks among the top gainers, as oil prices pared most of their overnight losses.

The Dow Jones Industrials strengthened 106.7 points to 18,004.16, to top the psychologically key 18,000 level for the first time in intraday trade since July 21, 2015. Walt Disney contributed the most to gains in the index, followed by Chevron and Home Depot.

The S&P 500 gained 13.23 points to 2,093.96. Energy recovered an initial 1% decline to briefly trade 1.5% higher as the top S&P 500 performer.

The NASDAQ index acquired 21.8 points to 4,960.02

Shares of Walt Disney rose 3% to contribute the most the gains in the Dow, while Apple contributed the most to declines.

Pivotal Research upgraded Disney to buy from hold, saying many investor concerns are already priced into the stock. Separately, Disney's "The Jungle Book" won the weekend box office by a wide margin, taking in $103.6 million U.S. in North American ticket sales and ranking as the second best ever April opening.

Hasbro traded more than 5% higher after beating estimates by 14 cents with quarterly profit of 38 cents U.S. per share, while revenue topped analyst forecasts by a wide margin as well. Hasbro's results were powered by toys based on "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

Shares of Hasbro and Mattel both hit fresh 52-week highs in morning trade.

Morgan Stanley posted better-than-expected earnings per share with revenue coming in roughly in line. IBM and Netflix are set to report after the close.

Major oil producers met on Sunday in Doha, Qatar, and lack of agreement initially sent oil prices sharply lower.

However, oil traded well off lows touched overnight. On Sunday, according to Reuters, Kuwait reduced its crude oil output and refining production as part of an emergency plan to help the OPEC member deal with the largest petroleum workers' strike in years.

The news wire also cited a tweet from Kuwait Oil Company's account that said the company had cut crude output to 1.1 million barrels per day from its normal production level of about three million barrels a day.

Economically speaking, the NAHB housing index was reported ahead of schedule, with the housing market index at 58 in April, unchanged from March.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury fell back, sending yields up to 1.77% from Friday's 1.75%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dipped 46 cents a barrel to $39.90 U.S.

Gold prices lost $1.60 to $1,232.39 U.S. an ounce.

Source: Livemoney (April 18, 2016 - 5:41 PM EDT)

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