Friday, Jun 15, 2012
--Stocks gain as central banks stand ready to act if needed
--European markets rise with investor anxiety easing ahead of Greece elections
--N.Y. manufacturing, industrial production and consumer sentiment data miss expectations
By Chris Dieterich
NEW YORK--Stocks rose as speculation that central bankers are ready to support global markets following a pivotal election in Greece offset concerns about more disappointing U.S. economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 68 points, or 0.5%, to 12718 in morning trading.
Microsoft gained 1.7% as the biggest gainer on the blue-chip benchmark. Chevron rose 1.5%, while 3M advanced 1.2%.
The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index climbed seven points, or 0.6%, to 1336, powered by materials and energy stocks. The Nasdaq composite added 16 points, or 0.6%, to 2852.
Stocks rose even as data showed consumers felt decidedly less upbeat about the economy at the start of this month than in May. Elsewhere, manufacturing activity in the New York area slowed sharply in June, while a separate report on U.S. industrial production missed expectations and fell in May.
"It's a bifurcated story: the economy versus the potential for bank liquidity," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital, noting that Friday's weaker-than-expected economic data were the latest in a series of sluggish U.S. economic reports.
"Bad data is, in some perverse way, good for the market. With bad economic data, people are hoping it's going to force the Fed's hand on more QE," Mr. Sarhan, referring to quantitative easing.
European markets were broadly higher, with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 0.9%. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi indicated the central bank was ready to respond by providing liquidity if needed, while the Bank of England said it would flood its banking system with liquidity if needed to calm markets.
Asian markets were also mostly higher, with China's Shanghai Composite gaining 0.5% and Japan's Nikkei Stock Average inching up less than 0.1%.
Crude-oil futures advanced 0.2% to $84.12 a barrel, while gold futures added 0.7% to $1,631 a troy ounce. The U.S. dollar edged down against the euro and the yen. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 1.577%.
In corporate news, shares of American International Group edged up 0.7% after the insurer said it has reduced outstanding support from the U.S. government by more than $152 billion, with only about $30 billion worth of common stock owned by the U.S. Treasury as the remaining government investment.
Facebook rose 2.3%, putting the stock on track to post back-to-back gains for just the second time since it went public on May 18. The stock added 3.7% on Thursday to close at the highest level so far this month.
MicroVision fell 22% after announcing plans for a public offering of its common stock.
Write to Chris Dieterich at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 15, 2012 10:55 ET (14:55 GMT)