Steel & Tube: Ta-ta to Tata

Acquiring Tata Steel’s New Zealand assets will strengthen STU’s distribution business and add steel flooring manufacturing capability.

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Global Stocks Rise

US Stocks Gain Amid Positive Economic Outlook

US stocks rose as industrial production gained more than forecast and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank will continue to help the economy. At last glance the S&P 500 had gained +0.6% whilst the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed +0.7%. The central bank announced the US economy continued to expand in most regions as businesses benefited from a bounce back from harsh winter weather earlier in the year. Industrial production rose more than forecast in March. A Commerce Department report showed the pace of U.S. home construction rebounded less than forecast in March.

Monsanto and Starbucks advanced +2.1% and +2.0% respectively. Yahoo rallied +5.3% after sales surged at Alibaba Group Holding, in which it holds a stake. Southwest Airlines advanced +2.3% after announcing it will freeze the size of its jet fleet through 2015 to focus on boosting its return on invested capital. Bank of America retreated -2.1% after reporting a quarterly loss. Linear Technology sank -3.6% on disappointing results, leading semiconductor stocks lower. 

European And UK Stocks Climb As Companies Report Results

The Stoxx Europe 600 jumped +1.3% as companies reported financial results and as data showed US housing and industrial activity increased. Syngenta gained +2.3% after posting first-quarter revenue that met estimates and confirming its full-year sales target. GEA Group rallied +6.2% after agreeing to sell its heat-exchanges unit to Triton Advisers. ASML Holding tumbled -5.3% after forecasting second-quarter sales below projections.

The UK’s FTSE 100 advanced +0.7%. Tesco rose +2.6% after reporting trading profit that exceeded projections. IAG increased +5.1% following a stock recommendation upgrade. Sports Direct International rose +5.6% for the biggest gain in the FTSE 100.

Asian Stocks Increase, Japanese Soar

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained +0.9% with all 10 industry groups rising. Chinese reports showed the economy grew at a faster pace than forecast in the first quarter whilst industrial-output growth in March missed projections.

Japan’s Topix advanced +2.7% as technology companies rallied. SoftBank soared +8.5% after Alibaba Group Holding, China’s largest e-commerce company, posted its fifth straight quarterly profit gain. 

ASX 200 Advances

The ASX 200 added +0.6%, with information technology and energy stocks leading the gauge higher.

Crude And Gold Fall

Crude fell -0.3% to $103.44 while gold slid -0.1% to $1,301.63

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