Friday 21st November 2014
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Wall Street advanced, bolstered by retailers that posted better-than-expected quarterly results including Best Buy, and solid US economic data.
The Conference Board’s index of US leading indicators rose a better-than-expected 0.9 percent in October, the best gain since July, following a 0.7 percent increase in September.
Separately, the Labor Department’s so-called core consumer price index, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.2 percent last month, following a 0.1 percent gain in September. A third report showed the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s factory index surged to its highest since 1993.
In afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.11 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.15 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.51 percent.
Gains in shares of Intel and those of Nike, up 3 percent and 1.1 percent respectively, led the Dow higher.
The latest earnings from US retailers offered more reasons for optimism.
Shares of Best Buy climbed 6.5 percent after the company reported an increase in sales bolstered by televisions, computing, and tablets. Shares of Dollar Tree rallied 4.6 percent as the company also posted sales that beat expectations.
“The backdrop for holiday sales and retail is setting up to be a very good holiday season,” David Lyon, global investment specialist at JP Morgan Private Bank, told Bloomberg News. “That additional cash or income that consumers will have to spend from lower energy prices at least for a quarter or two will be a fantastic tailwind for retailers.”
However, shares of Keurig Green Mountain sank 7.2 percent after the company reported quarterly profit that fell short of the mark.
In Europe, the Stoxx 600 ended the session with a decline of 0.3 percent, as did the UK’s FTSE 100 Index. France’s CAC 40 dropped 0.8 percent. Germany’s DAX gained 0.1 percent.
The pace of economic growth in the euro area slowed sharply in November, according to the Markit Eurozone PMI. The headline index, which measures business activity in the manufacturing and services economies, fell to 51.4 this month, its lowest since July 2013, and down from 52.1 in October.
“A fall in the eurozone PMI to a 16-month low raises the risk of the region slipping back into a renewed downturn,” Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit said in a statement. “The single currency area is struggling to eke out any growth, with the PMI indicating that GDP is likely to have risen by just 0.1-0.2 percent in the fourth quarter.”
“A drop in new orders for the first time in almost one-and-a-half years, albeit only very marginal, suggests growth could slow further in December,” Williamson said.
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