U.S. stocks ended higher, with the S&P 500 Index finishing
near a two-month high, following a report showing factory orders
exceeded forecasts. Better-than-expected auto sales during June
also bolstered confidence in the world's largest economy. Most
industry sectors finished with moderate gains, although energy
stocks leapt to a better than 2% rise as crude oil continued its
volatile path in recent sessions. Other commodities also
U.S. factories orders rose 0.7% in May for the gain in three
months, easing concern that manufacturing is faltering. New orders
climbed by $3.3 billion to $469 billion after a slightly revised
drop of 0.7% in April -- a decline previously reported as 0.6
percent. Excluding transporation, new orders rose 0.4%.
Auto-makers also reported better-than-expected June sales, led
by a 15.5% increase for General Motors (
) and a 7.7% rise for Ford Motor Co (
). Rival Toyota (
) posted a 60.6% rise, also beating expectations.
GM shares were ahead nearly 6% while F maintained a 2% advance.
TM ADRs were ahead about 1%.
But stocks eased slightly in late trade after the International
Monetary Fund forecast 2% growth or the U.S. economy this year and
2.25% growth in 2013, lowering its previous projections. The U.S.
remains "subject to elevated downside risks, in light of financial
strains in the euro area and uncertainty over domestic fiscal
plans," the IMF said in a statement today. In an April report, the
IMF forecast U.S. growth of 2.1% this year and 2.4% in 2013.
In other company news, Barclays plc (
) chief executive Robert Diamond quit today with the embattled
bank- which lost more than 2% - asserting Bank of England and
Federal Reserve officials were well aware of the alleged
manipulation of a key interest-rate by the bank and several of its
rivals. The document was released ahead of Wednesday's appearance
by Diamond in front of the British parliament.
U.S. crude was up $3.46 this afternoon, rising over 4%, to
$87.21 a barrel in New York because of renewed fears of a military
conflict with Iran. Iran reportedly again threatened to block a
critical Persian Gulf shipping route in response to a European
embargo of Iranian oil. Action by Iran would increase the risk for
violence in the region, slowing tanker traffic.
August gold is up $24.30 to $1,622 an ounce while August silver
is up 75 cents at $28.21 an ounce. July copper was 7 cents higher
Here's where the U.S. markets stood at end-of-day
Dow Jones Industrial Average up 72.05 (+0.56%) at 12,943.44
S&P 500 up 8.51 (+0.62%) at 1,374.02
Nasdaq Composite Index up 24.85 (+0.84%) at 2,976.08
Hang Seng Index up 1.51%
Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.14%
FTSE 100 Index up 0.83%
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