U.S. Stocks Sharply Higher On Economic Data
Wednesday, February 01, 2022 12:31 PM

U.S. stocks rallied in mid-day trading, buoyed by a spate of domestic economic reports and upbeat manufacturing data from Europe.   

S&P 500 Index advanced 1.12 percent to trade at 1,327.13. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.10 percent to 12,771.47. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.24 percent to 2,848.72.

On the economic front, U.S. private sector added 170,000 jobs in January, down from a downwardly revised 292,000 in December, according to the ADP National Employment Report.

January's U.S. ISM report showed that PMI registered 54.1 percent, up 1 percentage point from 53.1 percent in December, while a Commerce Department report showed that total construction activity advanced 1.5 percent in December, recording its fifth consecutive monthly gain.

Meanwhile, the euro-zone purchasing managers index (PMI) advanced to 48.8 in January from 46.9 in December. The PMI for Germany came in at 51 in January from 48.4 in the prior month. The U.K. PMI grew to 52.1, an eight-month high, from 49.7.

In corporate news, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) plunged 9.0 percent to $176.69 after the Internet retailer posted weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter sales and the company warned of a possible first quarter operating loss. The company earned $0.38 per share for the quarter, on sales of $17.4 billion. Wall Street analysts projected earnings per share of 19 cents on sales of $18.2 billion. It sees first-quarter net sales between $12.0 billion and $13.4 billion, while analysts' project $13.4 billion.

Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE:WHR) jumped 16.8 percent to $63.45 after the home appliances maker guided 2012 earnings above consensus.  It sees adjusted earnings per share of $6.50 to $7.00, while analysts project $5.85 a share. 

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) soared 21.2 percent to $25.61 after the hard-drive maker posted a surge in second-quarter earnings, helped by sharp increases in revenues and margins. Gross margin jumped to 31.6 percent from 19.5 percent.

Jda Software Group Inc. (NASDAQ:JDAS) plunged 17.85 percent to $24.28 after the provider of enterprise software announced that U.S. securities regulators are probing its revenue recognition and other accounting matters. The company also reported a quarterly loss.

Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) gained 10 percent to $24.98 after the provider of network security appliances reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, spurred by strong product sales.

Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ:BRCM) jumped 7.9 percent to $37.09, Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO) rose 3 percent to $32.35 and Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) advanced 3.2 percent to $45.10, following their quarterly reports.

Global Markets:

The European markets ended sharply higher supported by upbeat economic data, with Germany's DAX up 2.30 percent to end at 6,607.53. France's CAC40 gained 2.01 percent to 3,364.70. Britain's FTSE 100 advanced 1.92 percent to 5,790.62.  

In the Asian market, China's SSE Composite Index retreated 1.04 percent to finish at 2,268.68 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.28 percent to close at 20,333.37. Japan's Nikkei 225 inched 0.08 percent higher to end at 8,809.79. India's BSE 30 Sensex finished 0.62 percent higher at 17,300.58.

In the currency market, the euro rose 0.82 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3191, while the British pound gained 0.62 percent against the greenback. The dollar declined 0.18 percent against the Japanese yen to 76.1260.

Crude oil futures edged 0.03 percent lower to $98.45/barrel, and gold futures gained 0.63 percent higher.