S&P 500 Reaches 1700 (Bloomberg)
For the first time in U.S. History, a general rise in U.S. stocks sent the S&P 500 above 1700 Thursday, as central banks reassured investors that stimulus would continue. “Central banks throughout the world remain accommodative and you do not want to fight the central banks,” Phil Orlando, New York-based chief equity strategist at Federated Investors, said. “All of the data from an economic standpoint is telling that the economy is continuing to get better, the labor market is improving, and corporate earnings are coming in better than expected. So this market should continue to work higher.”
Nikkei Hits One-Month High (CNBC)
Markets rallied throughout Asia Thursday, as China soothed investor concerns by releasing a surprisingly high official Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) figure. The Nikkei benefited the most during this release, rising almost 2.5%. “What we had in China is stress in the financial system and that affects smaller companies more than state owned enterprises. Official PMI is more skewed to larger companies and the HSBC figure reflects the smaller companies and that is where you get this divergence,” said Frederic Neumann, managing director and co-head of Asian economics research at HSBC.
U.S. Crude Rallies (CNBC)
U.S. oil rose more than 2.5% Thursday after the U.S. Labor Department reported improving employment data. Investors were also encouraged by news of China’s higher-than-expected Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data. “The main reason is better-than-expected data from China and also the fact that the Fed did not give any hint about ceasing stimulus,” said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.