The latest manufacturing data in the United States drove the stock markets to trade higher and overshadowed existing concerns regarding a possible military strike of the government against Syria for using chemical weapons that resulted to the death of 1,421 people including 426 children.

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The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) index increased to 55.7, higher than the 54 average forecast of economist polled by Bloomberg. Readings above the 50 level indicates growth, and current level showed that manufacturing is poised to provide large contribution to growth of the U.S. economy.

Brian Jones, a New York-based senior economist at Societe Generale, projected that the manufacturing industry in the United States will experience a solid quarter. According to Jones, “Businesses are expanding production not only to meet demand but to also build inventories. Manufacturing worldwide is impressing to the high side.”

Yesterday, supply managers in the United States reported that manufacturing in other countries worldwide also increased. China’s manufacturing industry posted the surged significantly and factories in the European region showed expansion last month.

Data from ISM showed that new orders in the U.S. increased to its highest level since 2011 and the export demand climbed to a five-month high.

Aside from manufacturing, the Department of Commerce also reported that construction spending climbed to its highest level in July. According to the agency, outlays increased by 0.6% to $900.8 billion annual rate.

Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner supported President Barack Obama’s decision to launch a military action against Syria. After meeting with the President today, Boehner said that Syria’s use of chemical weapons requires a response and the United States should “warn others around the world” that such behaviors will not be tolerated. “This is something the United States as a country needs to do,” said Boehner. President Obama is seeking the support of Congress to launch a military strike against Syria.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 14,833 (+0.16%)
  • S&P 500- 1,639 (+0.41%)
  • NASDAQ- 3,612 (+0.63%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,016 (+0.57%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 2,753 (-0.75%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,468 (-0.58%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 8,180 (-0.77%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 13, 978 (+2.99%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22, 394 (+0.99%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2, 354 (+1.47%)

Stocks In Focus

The stock price of Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) surged by more than 30% to $5.11 per share after the company agreed to sell its Devices and Services business to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) for €5.44 billion or $7.2 billion. On the other hand, the stock value of Microsoft declined by more than 4% to $31.88 a share. Speculations arise that Stephen Elop might succeed Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer. Elop stepped down as CEO of Nokia to rejoin the software giant as executive vice president of Devices and Services.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) also inked an agreement to acquire a 45% stake of Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD) (LON:VOD) in a Verizon Wireless joint venture for $130 billion. Analysts at Citi Research would allow the U.S. telecommunications carrier to unlock new strategies to boost its value. The research firm also projected that Vodafone Group could attract buyers such as AT&T Inc (NYSE:T).  Verizon’s stock price declined by nearly 3% to $46 .01 a share.

CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) gained by more than 4% to %53.50 per share after the company reached a new agreement with Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC). The popular shows of CBS will is now included in the program list of Time Warner Cable after a month of hiatus for its almost 3.2 million customers in Dallas, Los Angles, and New York.

The stock value of Jarden Corp (NYSE:JAH) increased by more than 10% after the company agreed to acquire Yankee Club Candle for $1.75 billion from Madison Dearborn Partners. “Jarden’s global presence, capabilities and scale will facilitate Yankee Candle’s expansion into new markets and geographies to further drive top line growth and profitability,”  according to James Lillie, CEO of the company.