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

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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.



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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: F , GM

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