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Disney Drives Wall Street to Highest Close of 2016

Disney (DIS - Get Report) spread its joy on Monday, making Wall Street one of the happiest places on earth and driving stocks to close at 2016 highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average crested 18,000 in intraday trading, the first time it has crossed that level since July. The Dow, which includes Disney, added 0.6%. The S&P 500 climbed 0.65% to 2,092, its best close of the year, while the Nasdaq rose 0.44%.

Disney jumped more than 2% after Pivotal Research upgraded the stock to buy from hold and raised its price target to $121 from $104.

"We can point to investors already pricing in many concerns (such as the potential impact of cord-shaving on ESPN) but can also identify many reasons for optimism, such as the opening of Shanghai Disney Resort in June as well as the company's upcoming film slate," Pivotal analyst Brian Wieser wrote in a note.

The world's largest entertainment company was also riding higher after its recent live-action remake, The Jungle Book, topped the North American box office over the weekend in one of the biggest April openings on record. The Jon Favreau-directed film opened with $103.6 million in sales on U.S. and Canadian screens; 42% of domestic proceeds were generated from 3-D and premium-format showings.

Weekend talks among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries failed to culminate in a deal on a production freeze. Optimism over an agreement had led oil prices to rally in recent weeks, though Iran had made clear it would not...


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