Stocks: Weekly review
Japanese stocks rose for a third day after Greece passed austerity measures needed to secure aid from the European Union, and as utilities advanced on expectations they’ll be allowed to restart nuclear plants.
Sony Corp. (6758), which sells 20 percent of its PlayStation game consoles and other products in Europe, gained 3 percent. Kyushu Electric Power Co. and other utilities advanced after Kyodo News said a local government has agreed to the restart of halted reactors. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s largest lender by market value, climbed 2.1 percent after Deutsche Bank AG raised its rating on the sector.
European stocks rose, posting the biggest two-day gain for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index in almost seven months, as Greek lawmakers approved a bill authorizing austerity measures, qualifying the country for further aid.
London Stock Exchange Group Plc (LSE) jumped 11 percent after scrapping its bid for TMX Group Inc. and UBS AG said the bourse may now be a bid target. Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY) surged 9.7 percent after the U.K.’s biggest mortgage lender said it will make savings of 1.5 billion pounds ($2.4 billion) by 2014.
The Stoxx 600 rose 1.1 percent to 272.86 at the 4:30 p.m. close in London for the biggest two-day gain since December. The gauge has lost 1.1 percent this quarter, snapping three quarters of gains, on concern that Greece will fail to repay all its debt. The benchmark measure fell 2.9 percent in June.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou won a second ballot to execute measures ranging from tax increases to asset sales today after he clinched victory on a bill setting out his strategy to cut the deficit yesterday. A total of 155 lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament supported the law.
The U.S. Federal Reserve will complete its $600 billion bond-purchase program today.
European stocks extended gains after the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said today its business barometer unexpectedly rose to 61.1 in June from 56.6 in May. Figures greater than 50 signal expansion.
U.S. stocks rallied, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index its biggest four-day gain since December, amid increased optimism Greece will avoid default and after American business activity improved.
Industrial, technology and raw material companies led gains in the S&P 500, rising at least 0.9 percent, as investors bought stocks tied to economic growth. Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), United Technologies Corp. (UTX) and 3M Co. (MMM) climbed at least 1.8 percent to help the Dow Jones Industrial Average erase its quarterly loss. Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) added 3.1 percent after a report that private-equity firms want the computer maker to split up.
The Dow average fell 2.5 percent in June through yesterday amid concern about Europe’s debt crisis and weaker-than-expected economic data. Over the last century, the 30-stock gauge had an average gain of 1.4 percent in July, according to data compiled by Bespoke Investment Group. The index was up 5.9 percent in 2011 through yesterday amid better-than-estimated earnings and government stimulus measures.
Stocks extended gains after the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said its business barometer climbed to 61.1 this month from 56.6 in May. Economists called for the index to drop to 54, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Figures greater than 50 signal expansion. Consumer confidence rose to the highest level in 10 weeks, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed.