The stock markets in the United States rallied today driven by better-than-expected growth in the manufacturing sector, which alleviated investors’ concerns regarding the state of the global economy.

The Manufacturing Preliminary Market Index (PMI) released by Markit Economics showed a strong rebound in February from 53.7 to 56.7 percentage points.

market news Morning News

According to a financial information service provider, sharp and accelerated increases in production levels and new work contributed to the strong growth in the U.S. Manufacturing PMI.

Markit Economics noted that the solid output growth suggests that “manufacturers started to shake off the disruptions caused by extreme weather conditions in some parts of the country.”

In addition, the firm also noted that the volumes of new business increased significantly since 2010 suggesting a resilient underlying demand across the U.S. manufacturing sector. Furthermore, Markit Economics emphasized that manufacturers indicated that positive hiring trends will continue this month.

The Department of Labor reported that the number of people who submitted applications for unemployment benefits declined to 336,000 for the week ended February 15.

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, John Carey, fund manager at Pioneer Investment Management said, “M&A is alive and well, corporate balance sheets remain strong, dividend growth continues. There may be some fluctuations in the market, but when people come back and focus on the underlying fundamentals here in the U.S., I think they’re going to keep coming back to stocks.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,137.68 (+0.64%)
  • S&P 500- 1,840.42 (+0.64%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,267.49 (+0.70%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,162.02 (+1.13%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,121.59 (+0.03%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,812.99 (+0.24%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,618.85 (-0.43%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,449.18 (-2.15%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,394.08 (-1.19%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,287.44 (-0.92%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) gained 2.31% to $69.63 per share driven by its acquisition of WhatsApp for a total of $19 billion in a cash and stock transaction. Wall Street analysts praised the social network giant’s decision to purchase the mobile messaging start-up given its huge user base and popularity. The startup has 450 million users and continues to increase.

The shares of Microvision, Inc. (NASDAQ:MVIS) rose 97.78% to $2.67 per share. The main reason behind the significant surge of the stock was the announcement of Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) that it will integrate MicroVision’s PicoP technology in its new pico projector module with HD resolution.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) gained 8.93% to $209.89 per share driven by its optimistic guidance for the current year. The electric car manufacturer projected that it will be able to deliver 35,000 Model S units for 2014 and it will increase its production level to 1,000 cars per week. The company also said that it will soon release updates for its Gigafactory, which will allow Tesla to achieve major cost reduction on battery packs and speed up the pace of battery innovation.