Stocks are rising this morning as continued strong economic news
and earnings give investors no reason to sell.
S&P 500 futures have been accelerating throughout the morning
and are now up about one-third of 1 percent. European markets have
been climbing as well, punctuated by a gain of more than 1 percent
Asian indexes were mostly higher overnight. Japan's Nikkei stood
out once again with rally of almost 3 percent.
The German Ifo survey of business sentiment rose two points to
104.2, beating the 103 forecast by economists. The news follows
other strong reports from Europe this week, including the German
Zew survey of investor confidence and strong purchasing managers
The S&P 500 has been climbing to levels last seen in late 2007
amid the onset of financial crisis. Corporate earnings have also
been mostly been positive, highlighted today by strong numbers from
Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark and Honeywell.
Recovery in Europe from the Greek and Spanish debt crises has also
played a key role in the gains. That trend continued today as the
euro rallied more than half a percent against the United States
dollar. Billionaire currency trader George Soros added fuel to the
fire by predicting that the trend will continue. He also said
interest rates are likely to climb this year.
The Japanese yen has been falling sharply since November, which has
also supported sentiment because it tends to move in the opposite
direction as equities and commodities. The weak yen has lifted
stock prices in Tokyo, as well.
Trading in the commodity market is mixed. Oil prices are slightly
higher, but precious metals and agricultural foodstuffs are
Among individual companies, PG is up almost 2 percent on its strong
report. Mattress maker Tempur-Pedic International is poised to open
higher after its quarterly results beat estimates, while rival
Select Comfort is down on weak numbers. Computer-interface maker
Synaptics is also surging about 15 percent after beating consensus
and issuing a strong revenue outlook.