U.S. stocks rallied in mid-day trading, buoyed by a spate of domestic
economic reports and upbeat manufacturing data from Europe.
S&P 500 Index advanced 1.12 percent to trade at 1,327.13. The Dow Jones Industrial
Average gained 1.10 percent to 12,771.47. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.24
percent to 2,848.72.
On the economic front, U.S. private sector added 170,000 jobs in January,
down from a downwardly revised 292,000 in December, according to the ADP
National Employment Report.
January's U.S. ISM report showed that PMI registered 54.1 percent, up 1
percentage point from 53.1 percent in December, while a Commerce Department
report showed that total construction activity advanced 1.5 percent in December,
recording its fifth consecutive monthly gain.
Meanwhile, the euro-zone purchasing managers index (PMI) advanced to 48.8 in
January from 46.9 in December. The PMI for Germany came in at 51 in January
from 48.4 in the prior month. The U.K. PMI grew to 52.1, an eight-month high,
In corporate news, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) plunged 9.0 percent to
$176.69 after the Internet retailer posted weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter
sales and the company warned of a possible first quarter operating loss. The
company earned $0.38 per share for the quarter, on sales of $17.4 billion. Wall
Street analysts projected earnings per share of 19 cents on sales of $18.2
billion. It sees first-quarter net sales between $12.0 billion and $13.4
billion, while analysts' project $13.4 billion.
Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE:WHR) jumped 16.8 percent to $63.45 after the home
appliances maker guided 2012 earnings above consensus. It sees adjusted
earnings per share of $6.50 to $7.00, while analysts project $5.85 a
Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) soared 21.2 percent to $25.61 after the
hard-drive maker posted a surge in second-quarter earnings, helped by sharp
increases in revenues and margins. Gross margin jumped to 31.6 percent from
Jda Software Group Inc. (NASDAQ:JDAS) plunged 17.85 percent to $24.28 after
the provider of enterprise software announced that U.S. securities regulators
are probing its revenue recognition and other accounting matters. The company
also reported a quarterly loss.
Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) gained 10 percent to $24.98 after the provider of
network security appliances reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings,
spurred by strong product sales.
Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ:BRCM) jumped 7.9 percent to $37.09, Marathon Oil
Corp. (NYSE: MRO) rose 3 percent to $32.35 and Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) advanced
3.2 percent to $45.10, following their quarterly reports.
The European markets ended sharply higher supported by upbeat economic data,
with Germany's DAX up 2.30 percent to end at 6,607.53. France's CAC40 gained
2.01 percent to 3,364.70. Britain's FTSE 100 advanced 1.92 percent to
In the Asian market, China's SSE Composite Index retreated 1.04 percent to
finish at 2,268.68 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.28 percent to close at
20,333.37. Japan's Nikkei 225 inched 0.08 percent higher to end at 8,809.79.
India's BSE 30 Sensex finished 0.62 percent higher at 17,300.58.
In the currency market, the euro rose 0.82 percent against the U.S. dollar
to 1.3191, while the British pound gained 0.62 percent against the greenback.
The dollar declined 0.18 percent against the Japanese yen to 76.1260.
Crude oil futures edged 0.03 percent lower to $98.45/barrel, and gold
futures gained 0.63 percent higher.