European, US stocks mostly rise on improving economic data

Roland JACKSON
·3 min read
Payroll services firm ADP reported solid US private sector hiring in April, helping to boost the Dow to a fresh record

Global equities rebounded Wednesday as investors focused on bright earnings and data pointing to an economic recovery, narrowly lifting the Dow to a new record high.

London rose 1.7 percent during the session on the strength of miners to reach its highest close since the Covid-19 pandemic first hit Europe just over 14 months ago.

Frankfurt rose 2.1 percent and Paris added 1.4 percent as a survey said April saw the fastest growth for eurozone companies in nine months, sparking hope that the bloc would exit a double-dip recession.

"Having seen large falls yesterday, markets appear to have recovered some of their mojo, rebounding strongly today," commented Michael Hewson of CMC Markets.

On Wall Street, payroll services firm ADP released data before markets opened showing strong US private sector hiring last month, though the economy remains short millions of jobs.

The Institute for Supply Management also reported the US services sector was bouncing back strongly in April.

The data offer further evidence of an accelerating economic recovery, although analysts say markets continue to fear the rebound will cause prices to rise.

That reticence explains why the Nasdaq fell again, even as the Dow climbed 0.3 percent to finish at a fresh all-time high.

The weakness in the tech sector is among the indicators that "suggest that the near-term markets can remain choppy," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research.

Among individual companies, General Motors surged 4.1 percent after reporting higher first-quarter profits and reaffirming its full-year outlook Wednesday, despite a global shortage of semiconductors that has constrained auto manufacturing.

Moderna fell 6.2 percent and Pfizer was flat after US President Joe Biden's administration announced its support for a global waiver on patent protections for Covid-19 vaccines, a move that could limit both drugmakers' profits from their groundbreaking inoculations.

- Key figures around 2030 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.3 percent at 34,230.34 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.1 percent at 4,167.59 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 0.4 percent at 13,582.42 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 1.7 percent at 7,039.30 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 2.1 percent at 15,170.78 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.4 percent at 6,339.47 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 2.0 percent at 4,002.79 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.5 percent at 28,417.98 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: Closed for a holiday

Shanghai - Composite: Closed for a holiday

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.2002 from $1.2014 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3908 from $1.3887

Euro/pound: DOWN at 86.30 pence from 86.51 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 109.19 yen from 109.33 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.1 percent at $68.96 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.1 percent at $65.63 per barrel

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