Stocks: Weekly review
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed at 135.69 as of 7:52 p.m. in Tokyo, paring losses of as much as 0.4 percent earlier. About 10 stocks rose for every nine that fell in the index, which is set for a 1.1 percent advance this week.
The gauge last week had its biggest weekly gain since November as Japan moved to stabilize nuclear reactors damaged by the earthquake, and as companies from Cnooc Ltd. to Bank of China Ltd. reported earnings that surpassed estimates.
Raw material producers gained on speculation demand from China will increases as manufacturing growth accelerated for the first time in four months.
European stocks climbed for a second week, recouping the losses that followed Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami, as better-than-forecast U.S. jobs data bolstered confidence in the global economic recovery.
Bank of Ireland Plc jumped 18 percent after the lender outlined plans to avoid state control following stress tests by regulators. Randgold Resources Ltd., a miner of the metal in West Africa, surged the most in a year amid speculation the political crisis in Ivory Coast may soon end. Alcatel-Lucent SA led technology shares higher as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded the stock.
The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 1.5 percent, extending last week’s 3.1 percent jump. The gauge has climbed 6.8 percent from this year’s low on March 16 amid speculation the global economic recovery will withstand Japan’s worst earthquake on record and popular revolts in the Middle East and north Africa.
U.S. stocks rose, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to an almost three-year high, as faster-than-forecast job growth bolstered optimism and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. started a bidding war for NYSE Euronext.
NYSE Euronext soared 12 percent as Nasdaq and IntercontinentalExchange Inc. bid to snatch the New York Stock Exchange from Deutsche Boerse AG. General Electric Co. and Caterpillar Inc. advanced at least 1.6 percent after a report showed manufacturing in the U.S. expanded in March at close to the fastest pace in almost seven years. Chevron Corp. rose 1 percent as crude oil rallied to a 30-month high.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.8 percent to 1,335.87 at 2:18 p.m. in New York. The Dow average increased 86.55 points, or 0.7 percent, to 12,406.28, its highest level since June 2008.
The benchmark S&P 500 advanced 5.4 percent in the three months to March, the biggest first-quarter gain since 1998, as investors speculated the global economy can withstand Japan’s worst earthquake on record and revolts in the Middle East and northern Africa.
Stocks rallied today as the government jobs report also showed the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to a two-year low of 8.8 percent in March from 8.9 percent in February. Payrolls grew by 216,000 workers after a 194,000 gain the prior month, the Labor Department said. Economists projected a March gain of 190,000, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index was little changed at 61.2 from 61.4 in February, remaining near a seven-year high. The median forecast of economists surveyed by was 61.1. Figures greater than 50 signal expansion.
NYSE Euronext surged 12 percent to $39.33 after Nasdaq OMX and ICE offered $42.50 in cash and stock for each NYSE Euronext share, a bid that’s 27 percent higher than NYSE Euronext’s stock price on Feb. 8, the day before the company’s announcement of discussions with Deutsche Boerse. Nasdaq OMX jumped 6.9 percent to $27.61, and ICE tumbled 3.8 percent to $118.91.
Industrial companies advanced 1.2 percent, leading gains among 10 industries in the S&P 500. Caterpillar, the world’s largest construction equipment maker, gained 1.6 percent to $113.16. General Electric, the world’s biggest maker of power- generation equipment, rose 1.7 percent to $20.39.
Chevron gained 1 percent to $108.55. Oil reached a 30-month high in New York after the unemployment report’s numbers signaled increased demand in the world’s biggest oil-consuming country, and as fighting intensified in Libya. Crude oil for May delivery rose 88 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $107.60 a barrel at on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
‘Pretty Solid Economy’
Logitech International SA plunged 18 percent to $14.94, the most intraday since October 2008. The world’s biggest maker of computer mice lowered its full-year sales and profit forecasts.
Today’s advance brought the S&P 500 to less than 1 percent below its 32-month high on Feb. 18. The gauge had tumbled as much as 6.4 percent from that peak through March 16 on concern global growth would slow as uprisings in northern Africa and the Middle East triggered a rally in oil prices and Japan was struck by its worst earthquake on record.