Stocks end mixed. Best first quarter since 1998.
Stocks closed out the quarter with the Dow gaining 742 points, its biggest first-quarter point gain in more than a decade and its biggest percentage gain since 1994.
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The market also focused on news that potential Warren Buffett successor David Sokol unexpectedly resigned from Berkshire Hathaway. In a press release, Berkshire said Sokol bought shares of Lubrizol before recommending the company to Buffett. Sokol told CNBC Thursday morning that in retrospect, he wouldn't have told Buffett about Lubrizol, but he still would have bought shares in the specialty chemical company.Skip to next paragraph
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Both Berkshire's class A and B shares declined.
Fertilizer producer CF Industries, agriculture giant Monsanto and farm equipment maker AGCO shares advanced after a report from the Department of Agriculture's annual prospective plantings data showed increases in the number of acres planted with corn, wheat and cotton.
On the tech front, Microsoft traded flat after news the tech giant filed a formal complaint against Google with antitrust regulators in the European Union, saying Google is preventing competition in the business of Internet search. Microsoft has been the target of antitrust cases in the U.S. and Europe. One of Microsoft's subsidiaries had filed a complaint earlier.
And Intel fell after FBR Capital Markets cut its earnings estimates for the first quarter for the company to 48 cents a share from 51 cents, and reduced its price target to $25 a share from $27. The brokerage is concerned about declining sales for notebooks and PCs, as tablets gain popularity.
Tesla jumped after reports that Morgan Stanley has upgraded the automaker's price target to $70 a share, in part because of rising demand for electric cars.
But CarMax plunged after the used car dealer posted same-store sales that fell short of expectations.