Stocks jump as the news improves on manufacturing
Friday, September 24, 2021 2:02 PM

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(Source: Associated Press/AP Online)By STEPHEN BERNARD

NEW YORK - Stocks resumed a September rally Friday following a sharp jump in orders for manufactured goods last month and better news about the European economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose nearly 190 points in afternoon trading and is heading for a fourth week of gains. That would be the longest winning streak since stocks rose to their highest levels of the year in late April.

A surprise jump in business confidence in Germany also tempered worries about Europe's economy, driving stocks higher in Europe and the U.S. Stocks had fallen Thursday following a report that business activity slowed in the 16 countries that used the euro.

Gold prices climbed again, briefly touching $1,300 an ounce, as many investors remained cautious. The dollar fell.

Industrial stocks including General Electric Co., Caterpillar Inc. and United Technologies Corp. gained after the Commerce Department reported that orders for durable goods excluding transportation rose last month at their fastest pace in five months. The increase was double what economists polled by Thomson Reuters had expected.

Stocks have been volatile in recent sessions as investors react to the latest pieces of economic data. Much of the news throughout September has been better than expected, which has pushed major indexes sharply higher during the month after a big sell-off in August.

Zahid Siddique, an associate portfolio manager at Gabelli Equity Trust Inc., said traders are only reacting to the latest news because there still isn't certainty about the pace of recovery.

"Based on the daily data they get, they move the market one way or another," Siddique said. Friday's upbeat manufacturing report, particularly a jump in corporate spending, is what traders have zeroed in on to send stocks higher, he said.

Capital goods orders from U.S. companies for products like computers and machinery rose sharply in August, reversing a steep drop in July orders.

In other corporate news, Nike Inc. jumped after reporting strong results and the largest gain in upcoming orders in a decade.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 189.36, or 1.8 percent, to 10,851.70 in afternoon trading. The Dow has risen 8.4 percent in September, but is only up 4.1 percent for the year.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 22.55, or 2 percent, to 1,147.38, putting it in position to end a three-day losing streak. The index, used as a benchmark by professional investors, also climbed back above a key technical trading level Friday.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 46.88, or 2 percent, to 2,373.96. It has been the best performer during this month's rally among the major indexes, jumping 12.3 percent.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed sales of new homes in August rebounded slightly from the lowest level on records dating back to 1963 in July. Sales rose 4.3 percent, slightly below the 5 percent growth economists had forecast.

The modest rise in sales followed a similar report Thursday that showed sales of previously occupied homes rose in August from depressed levels in July. Sales plummeted in the months after a home buyer tax credit expired at the end of April, but analysts are relatively hopefully sales over the summer might indicate the bottom of the market.

Nike rose $2.52, or 3.2 percent, to $80.19. GE rose 28 cents to $16.42, while Caterpillar jumped $3.38, or 4.4 percent, to $79.64. United Technologies shares rose $1.68, or 2.4 percent, to $71.48.

About five stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange where volume came to 486.9 million shares.

Bond prices fell after the durable goods orders report. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, is used to set interest rates on loans, rose to 2.60 percent from 2.55 percent late Thursday.

Overseas, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.9 percent, Germany's DAX index gained 1.8 percent, and France's CAC-40 rose 1.9 percent. Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 1 percent.

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