December 12, 2017
Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Wall Street surges on US data, European shares end at one-month high

Wall Street surged on Tuesday, led by financial and technology stocks, after encouraging US factory and construction data suggested the economy was regaining momentum after slowing in the fourth quarter.

While manufacturing activity contracted in February, steadying new orders growth and improving inventories offered signs of stability.

Construction spending in January surged to the highest level since 2007, while strong auto sales data also boosted sentiment.

The better-than-expected data helped spark the rally in financial stocks, giving investors a greater sense of confidence and a bigger risk appetite, said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

"The stimulus to better stock price action is signs that the US economy is, in fact, doing better," James said.

The upbeat data comes two weeks ahead of the US Federal Reserve's rate-setting meeting. But, James does not expect the Fed to raise rates this month, even if the monthly jobs report on Friday is encouraging.

At 12:44 p.m. ET (1744 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 286.87 points, or 1.74 percent, at 16,803.37. The S&P 500 was up 35.85 points, or 1.86 percent, at 1,968.08 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 99.44 points, or 2.18 percent, at 4,657.39.

European shares rose with exchange operator London Stock Exchange (LSE) hitting record highs on speculation of a possible bidding war and auto stocks boosted by continued weakness in the euro.

Shares in LSE rose 7.2 percent after U.S. rival ICE said it was considering making an offer for the group, a move that could derail Deutsche Boerse's potential tie-up with the British company. Deutsche Boerse was little changed.

"With ICE now also being interested, it looks ... more likely for a deal to be done," said Dafydd Davies, partner at Charles Hanover Investments.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 1.5 percent at 1,332.95 points, its highest level since Feb. 1.

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Tags:  US  stock market  Europe  Nikkei  

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