Financial markets in Japan were closed on Monday in observance of national holiday.
European stocks rose, sending the Stoxx Europe 600 Index to the biggest three-day gain since July, as Japan’s atomic crisis eased and U.S. officials said its allies are in full control of Libya’s airspace following two days of airstrikes.
Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE) jumped 11 percent after AT&T Inc. agreed to buy T-Mobile USA from the German phone company for $39 billion.
Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) and Hellenic Telecommunications organization SA (HTO) surged more than 3 percent.
ING Groep NV (INGA) gained 3.6 percent as General Electric Co. was said to be among companies looking at the Dutch firm’s U.S. online bank.
Taylor Wimpey Plc (TW/) rose 3.5 percent to 41.27 pence after Credit Suisse Group AG upgraded the U.K.’s second-largest homebuilder by volume to “outperform” from “neutral.”
Essar Energy Plc (ESSR) dropped 7.3 percent to 440.4 pence after the Indian oil refiner and power plant operator said it incurred delays in gaining approval for the development of some domestic coal blocks. The company, which today reported an 11 percent increase in full-year net income, also said it’s investing $9.58 billion to help increase its power generation capacity in India more than sevenfold by 2014.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said he can see “light at the end of the tunnel” as workers at the troubled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant reconnected power to two of the failed reactors. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said the earthquake is a buying opportunity and he won’t sell his Japanese shares as the nation’s future hasn’t been changed because of the temblor.
U.S. stocks remained in rally mode on Monday, with the Dow surging nearly 175 points in a broad-based rally.
Stocks spiked at the open Monday, and have remained steadily higher throughout the session.
Investors rallied behind positive news regarding Japan's nuclear crisis, as well as AT&T's $39 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile USA. Shares of AT&T (T, Fortune 500) and Verizon Communications (VZ, Fortune 500) were both higher in mid-day trading, although AT&T shares pared back some of its earlier gains.
Shares of AT&T's smaller competitor Sprint Nextel (S, Fortune 500), which had been reported to be in talks with Deutsche Telekom, fell 16% -- making it the worst performer on the S&P 500.
Tiffany & Co. (TIF) was the biggest gainer on the S&P 500, after the luxury retailer reported a stronger-than-expected profit.
Aside from corporate news, investors continue to react to developments in Japan and Libya.
Over the weekend, Japanese engineers made progress in cooling nuclear reactors that had overheated, following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the country March 11.
Meanwhile, turmoil in North Africa heated up. The United States and its allies launched an airstrike on Libyan military targets Monday, in an effort to subdue forces of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Oil prices jumped more than $1 a barrel in electronic trading, following the attack.
Economy: The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales fell to an annual rate of 4.88 million in February, which was much lower than the 5.05 million most economists forecasted.
Companies: Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) shares fell 1.5% after the bank announced a 1-for-10 reverse stock split and said it plans to reinstate its quarterly dividend.