Stocks Ended Higher after Brainard Offered Dovish Tone

U.S. stocks finished near session highs on Monday, after Federal Reserve Gov. Lael Brainard called for prudence in raising interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 239.62 points, or 1.32%, to 18,325.07. The S&P 500 rose 31.23 points, or 1.47%, to 2,159.04. The Nasdaq Composite was up 85.98 points, or 1.68%, to 5,211.89.

Speaking at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Brainard said the Fed should be cautious about raising interest rates to avoid getting trapped in a low-growth, low-inflation environment.

Demand from foreign investors for bonds from U.S. companies that has helped keep a lid on corporate America’s borrowing costs may dissipate if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates.

Canadian fertilizer producers Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc and Agrium Inc agreed to combine to navigate a severe industry slump by boosting efficiency and cutting costs, but the new company’s potential pricing power may attract tough regulatory scrutiny.

Shares of Weight Watchers International Inc. (WTW) skidded in Monday’s extended session after the company said Chief Executive James Chambers has resigned, effective Sept. 30, and the company has begun its search for a successor.

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