Stocks: Thursday's review
Japanese stocks rose, sending benchmark indexes to their highest levels in almost nine months, after the Federal Reserve raised its forecast for U.S. economic growth and oil prices increased.
Canon Inc., a camera maker that gets about 80 percent of its revenue abroad, climbed 3.9 percent. Honda Motor Co., which gets 84 percent of its sales overseas, gained 1.1 percent. Inpex Corp., Japan’s No. 1 oil explorer, jumped 3 percent. Resona Holdings Inc. advanced 2.5 percent after the Asahi newspaper said it will repay public funds.
European stocks climbed for a fifth day, extending a 2 1/2-year high for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, as earnings from Cap Gemini SA and PPR SA topped estimates and the index of U.S. leading indicators rose for a seventh month.
Cap Gemini, Europe’s biggest computer-services company, jumped 7.6 percent and PPR, the owner of the Gucci luxury label, advanced 2.2 percent. Technip SA gained 1.9 percent after Europe’s second-biggest oilfield-services provider swung to a profit in the fourth quarter.
The Stoxx 600 rose 0.2 percent to 291.16 at the 4:30 p.m. close in London, the highest level since August 2008. The gauge has climbed 5.6 percent this year amid speculation the economic recovery is accelerating and policies to support indebted euro- region countries will be successful.
Reports in the U.S. showed the Conference Board’s gauge of the economic outlook for the next three to six months increased 0.1 percent in January and manufacturing in the Philadelphia region expanded in February at the fastest pace in seven years.
U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a 32-month high, as improving corporate earnings and manufacturing data overshadowed higher- than-forecast growth in consumer prices.
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. jumped 6.4 percent after posting profit that beat analysts’ estimates. Nvidia Corp. added 5.8 percent as the maker of graphics chips forecast higher sales than analysts had predicted. American Express Co. slumped 1.7 percent amid investor concern about the impact of a proposed rule on interchange fees. Huntington Bancshares Inc. declined 2.7 percent after Bank of America Corp. cut its stock rating.
The S&P 500 closed at the highest level since June 2008 yesterday as a more optimistic forecast for economic growth from the Federal Reserve, improving earnings and takeovers bolstered confidence in equities. Per-share earnings have topped analysts’ estimates at about 72 percent of the 387 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported results since Jan. 10 and have grown 35 percent collectively, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Stock futures fell before the open of exchanges as the Labor Department said the consumer-price index rose 0.4 percent for a second month, exceeding the 0.3 percent median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. A separate report showed that applications for jobless benefits increased by 25,000 to 410,000 in the week ended Feb. 12, exceeding the 400,000 median forecast of economists surveyed.
Stocks began rebounding after the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s general economic index rose to 35.9, the highest level since January 2004 and exceeding the median forecast of 21 in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. Separately, the Conference Board’s index of U.S. leading indicators rose in January for the seventh straight month, signaling the expansion will extend into this year.