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28.02.2013 08:07

Stocks: Wednesday’s review

Asian stocks outside Japan gained after U.S. housing and consumer confidence data beat estimates. Japanese shares fell as the yen rose ahead of an Italian bond sale, with yields surging after the nation’s deadlocked election stoked debt crisis concern.

Nikkei 225 11,253.9 -144.84 -1.27%

Hang Seng 22,577.01 +57.32 +0.25%

S&P/ASX 200 5,036.59 +33.03 +0.66%

Shanghai Composite 2,313.22 +19.88 +0.87%

Techtronic Industries Co., a power-tool maker that counts the U.S. as its biggest market, advanced 5.8 percent in Hong Kong.

Canon Inc., a Japanese camera maker that gets 29 percent of its sales in Europe, lost 2.7 percent.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. added 2 percent in Sydney as gold jumped the most since November after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke defended the central bank’s asset purchases.

European stocks climbed, rebounding from the lowest level in more than two weeks, as companies from European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. to Bouygues (EN) SA reported results that beat analysts’ estimates.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) gained 0.9 percent to 287.17 at the close of trading after earlier falling as much as 0.3 percent.

Economic confidence in the euro area increased more than economists forecast in February, adding to signs that the 17- nation currency bloc may be emerging from a recession.

In the U.S., orders for durable goods excluding transportation gear climbed in January by the most in a year. Bookings for equipment meant to last at least three years minus demand for things such as aircraft, which is often volatile, climbed 1.9 percent, exceeding the median forecast of economists and the most since December 2011, Commerce Department data showed. Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes climbed more than forecast.

National benchmark indexes climbed in 14 of the 18 western European markets.

FTSE 100 6,325.88 +55.44 +0.88% CAC 40 3,691.49 +69.57 +1.92% DAX 7,675.83 +78.72 +1.04%

EADS (EAD) advanced 6.5 percent to 37.14 euros, the highest price since the shares started trading in July 2000. The company reported a 68 percent gain in full-year earnings before interest, taxes and one-time items to 3 billion euros, beating the average analyst estimate of 2.57 billion euros.

Bouygues rallied 13 percent to 21.96 euros, the biggest jump since August 2011. France’s second-largest builder reported a 41 percent drop in 2012 profit to 633 million euros as its phone unit suffered from competition. That still beat the average analyst estimate of 584 million euros.

Swiss Life Holding AG (SLHN) jumped 8.7 percent to 151.90 francs, the largest increase since March 2009, as Switzerland’s biggest life insurer reported higher operating profit in its home market and France.

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Plc (BPTY), the gambling company that has a partnership with Atlantic City’s top-grossing casino, soared 8.9 percent to 150 pence, after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation authorizing online gambling in the state.

Kabel Deutschland slid 2.55 euros to 67.03 euros after three people familiar with the matter said Vodafone put on hold plans to approach Kabel about a takeover bid after leaks of a potential offer complicated internal discussions.

Royal Imtech NV (IM) sank 11 percent to 8.65 euros, its lowest price since May 2005, after it announced a 500 million-euro rights offer to help cut debt.

U.S. stocks advanced, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average toward a five-year high

Equities rose as contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes climbed more than forecast in January, a sign the industry will keep strengthening this year. Orders for U.S. durable goods excluding transportation equipment climbed in January by the most in a year, indicating business investment is holding up.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank has the “tools” necessary to scale back record stimulus and avert a rise in inflation expectations, in congressional testimony that was identical to his remarks yesterday to the Senate Banking Committee.

American stocks also joined a rally in Europe as Italy sold 6.5 billion euros ($8.5 billion) of five- and 10-year bonds in its first auction following inconclusive election results that pushed yields to a four-month high yesterday.

Apple (AAPL) fell 0.5 percent to $446.73. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said he’s in “very, very active” talks about what to do with the company’s growing cash pile. Yet his comments were not enough to assuage investors seeking more clarity on his plans to return cash to shareholders.

Cook is being urged to return some of the $137.1 billion on Apple’s balance sheet to investors in the form of increased dividends, stock buybacks or new class of preferred shares. The calls have grown louder as the stock has fallen by about a third from a September peak amid concerns about slowing sales and profit growth. The CEO said he and other executives are “focused on the long term” and aren’t happy with the falling stock price.

All DOW components, except McDonald's Corp. (MCD, -0.44%) and Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ, -0.10%), ended session on positive territory. Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM, +3.70%) advanced more than other components.

All sectors of the S&P closed in plus. Most growts showed sector of industrial goods (+1.9%)

On result of yesterdays session:

Dow +176.32 14,076.45 +1.27%

Nasdaq +32.61 3,162.26 +1.04%

S&P +19.09 1,516.03 +1.28%

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