Stock markets in the United States climbed after data indicated that the global manufacturing and the labor market in the United States is improving.

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Based on data compiled by Markit, the “flash” purchasing managers indexes (PMI) on manufacturing increased in China, the European region, and the United States. Data showed that the three regions are expanding after recording a reading above the 50 level.

In a note to investors, Julian Callow and Tal Shapsa, economists at Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC), opined that the data showed that there is an upside potential for the global industrial production in the future. They said, “Our interpretation of the data would be that some of the weakness in global industrial production in recent months has been attributable to a mild inventory correction, and that this now appears to be largely over, helped by an improving trend in orders. Overall, the data indicate that global industrial production growth could have upside potential going forward.”

Data released by the Labor Department showed that claims for jobless benefits in the United States declined to an average of 330,500 per week, the lowest level since 2007. JP Morgan economist Daniel Silver commented that the trend in data indicates that the labor market is getting better.

Meanwhile, NASDAQ, the second largest stock market operator in the United States halted its trading transactions in the country after experiencing technical errors around 12:14 in the afternoon in New York. Trading resumed around 3:25 in the afternoon Eastern Time.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 14, 968 (+0.48%)
  • S&P 500- 1,657 (+0.89%)
  • NASDAQ- 3,638 (+1.08%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,035 (+1.35%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 2,812 (+1.36%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,446 (+0.88%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 8,397 (+1.36%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 13, 365 (-0.44%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 21, 895 (+0.36%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2, 303 (-0.20%)

Stocks In Focus

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) plummeted by more than 17% to as low as $36.90 per share after the company reported second quarter earnings that missed the estimates of Wall Street analysts. The company posted $0.16 earnings per share, a 20% decline from its earnings of $0.20 per share in the same period a year ago. The result is significantly lower than consensus EPS estimate of $0.29.

The stock price of GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) climbed by more than 10% and reached as high as $56.08 per share today after the company increase its profit guidance for the full-year prior to the release of the latest game consoles from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758). The expect to achieve earnings of around $3.00 to $3.20 per share for 2013.

The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAIN) gained by nearly 12% to $81.63 a share after the company reported fourth quarter financial results that beat the expectations of analysts. The company also provided a higher revenue and profit guidance for the full year. The company posted $0.65 adjusted earnings per share compared with the consensus estimate of $0.62 adjusted earnings per share. The company anticipates that it will be able to deliver full-year earnings in the range of $2.95 to $3.05 per share.

The stock value of Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) declined by more than 8% to as low as $39.07 a share today after investors were disappointed with the financial performance of the company in the second quarter. The company posted $194 million losses or $1.83 losses per share compared with $132 million losses or $1.25 losses per share last year. Its revenue declined by 6.3% to $8.87 billion.