December 20, 2014
Wall St rebounds after data; financials climb
US stocks rose today, after a batch of economic data pointed to an improving economy and investors reassessed Fed Chair Janet Yellen's comments that had fueled speculation of an earlier-than-expected rate hike by the central bank.
After several weeks of soft economic data attributed by many investors to harsh winter weather conditions, labor market data showed the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits hovered near three-month lows last week.
A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia showed that factory activity in the Mid-Atlantic region rebounded in March, suggesting economic momentum may be on the upswing.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 108.88 points or 0.67 percent, to end at 16,331.05. The S&P 500 gained 11.24 points or 0.60 percent, to finish at 1,872.01. The Nasdaq Composite added 11.684 points or 0.27 percent, to close at 4,319.286.European shares recouped early losses to finish steady today after data showing robust factory activity in the US mid-Atlantic region raised expectations that US economic recovery remained on track.
After falling as much as 1 percent earlier on concerns about an earlier-than-expected rise in US rates, the FTSEurofirst 300 index ended 0.06 percent higher at 1,305.87 points, helped by data from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank showing its business activity index rose to 9.0 in March from -6.3 in February.Meanwhile, Japanese stocks tumbled to a six-week low after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen raised the prospect of interest rate hikes starting earlier than previously thought, sparking a selloff in equities before a three-day weekend. The Nikkei share average ended 1.7 percent lower at 14,224.23, the lowest closing level since Feb. 6. For the week, the index dropped 0.7 percent. Markets in Japan will shut tomorrow for a public holiday.