Dow and S&P 500 Carve Out New All-Time Highs; GM, Ford March Auto Sales Brisk


U.S. stock markets have shrugged off yesterday's disappointing ISM data, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index running to fresh all-time highs in morning trade. Strong factory orders and March auto sale figures were supporting the ongoing bull rush in U.S. equities. There was also a strong showing by European bourses, which reopened for the first time since Thursday after a long holiday.

U.S. February factory orders, which were expected to rise 2.9%, weighed in at a healthy 3%, after a 2% drop in January. Meanwhile, auto sales, which were forecast to slow to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15.3 million from 15.4 million in February according to Edmunds, have revved up the morning session's dealings.

Both General Motors Co. ( GM ) and Ford ( F ) have posted impressive March sales numbers. GM said that its March sales results were the best in five years. GM sold 245,950 vehicles in the United States in March, up 6% compared with a year ago. Retail sales increased 4%, fleet sales were up 12% and the fleet mix was 27% of total sales. Despite the excellent numbers, GM shares have edged lower, down 0.3% at $27.75.

Meanwhile, Ford shares motored almost 2% higher to $13.15 after the company announced March auto sales increased 6%, its best sales results since May 2007, with car sales even with year ago, utilities up 14% and trucks up 6%. The company's newest lines of vehicles, Fusion and Escape, set all-time monthly sales records. Other auto makers are expected to report their sales figures later today.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: F , GM

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