Investing.com - U.S. stocks opened higher on Friday, as upbeat U.S. industrial production data sparked optimism over the strength of the economy despite a disappointing manufacturing report released earlier in the day and as markets eyed upcoming data on U.S. consumer sentiment.
During early U.S. trade, the Dow 30 rose 0.21%, the S&P 500 gained 0.31%, while the NASDAQ Composite climbed 0.56%.
Official data showed that U.S. industrial production rose 0.4% in July, beating expectations for a 0.3% gain, after an increase of 0.4% in June whose figure was revised from a previously estimated 0.2% rise.
Separately, the New York Federal Reserve said that its Empire State manufacturing index fell to a four-month low of 14.7 this month, from a reading of 25.6 in July, confounding expectations for a decline to 20.0.
Coca-Cola (NYSE:CCE) jumped 1.94% after the world's largest beverage company agreed to swap some brands and buy a 17% stake in Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) for about $2.15 billion.
Boosted by the news, shares in Monster Beverage skyrocketed 26.78% at the open of the U.S. trading session.
Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKa) was also on the upside and added 0.25% after reporting a stake in Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) and reducing its holding in DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV), in a move to reallocate the company's bets on pay-TV companies.
The news sent Charter Communications up 1.96%, while DirecTV slipped 0.18%.
In earnings news, Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) surged 5.15% after the maker of semiconductor-manufacturing equipment said that fiscal fourth-quarter sales may exceed analysts' estimates.
Meanwhile, shares in Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) plummeted 4% as the luxury department-store chain missed same-store sales estimates in the last quarter.
Elsewhere, Seaworld Entertainment (NYSE:SEAS) rallied 1.44% after saying it plans to build new habitats for its killer whales. The news came after 2013 documentary "Blackfish," which focused on the death of a trainer sparked heavy controversy last week and sent the company's stock down more than 30%.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were sharply higher. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 jumped 1.02%, France's CAC 40 rallied 1.01%, Germany's DAX advanced 0.92%, while Britain's FTSE 100 climbed 0.74%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.62%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 inched up 0.02%.
Also Friday, data showed that U.S. producer price inflation rose 0.1% last month, in line with expectations, after a 0.4% increase in June.
Core producer price inflation, which excludes food, energy and trade, rose 0.2% in July, in line with market projections, and after a 0.2% gain the previous month.
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