The stock markets in the United States gained after experiencing a significant drop last week. The rally was driven by economic data that was better than the estimate of economists, which overshadowed worries regarding the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

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The Federal Reserve reported that the industrial production in the United States rose 0.6% and the manufacturing output climbed 0.8% in February. The manufacturing data showed that the U.S. economy is rising from a setback caused by severe weather conditions.

Michael Polk, president and chief executive officer at Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NYSE:NWL) told Bloomberg, “I think we’ll continue to see modest improvement in the economy. For the high end of consumers there’s good recovery, lower-end consumers are having a harder time of things.”

On the other hand, Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC commented, “The data helped to give some evidence to the fact that some of the weak-ish numbers were clearly evidenced by the weather. We may be seeing that trend fade and the better numbers are on their way.”

Last week, the equities benchmark declined 2%, the highest drop since January due to investors’ concern regarding the situation in Ukraine as well as the economic weakness in China.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,243.11 (+1.10%)
  • S&P 500- 1,858.59 (+0.95%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,279.95 (+0.81%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,187.79 (+0.54%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,049.19 (+1.48%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,568.35 (+0.62%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,180.89 (+1.37%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,227.67 (-0.35%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 21,473.95 (-0.30%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,143.80 (+0.95%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of NQ Mobile Inc (NYSE:NQ) rose almost 11% to $20.25 per share after the Chinese internet service provider announced its agreement with Smartfren Telecom, an Indonesian Telecommunications company. As part of the deal, Smartfren agreed to pre-install NQ Mobile’s mobile security and privacy apps to its new Android devices. The deal enables NQ Mobile to significantly expand its presence in Southeast Asian markets.

Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) gained nearly 2% to $44.84 after announcing the separation of its Lands’ End business through a pro-rate spin-off deal. After the spin-off, Lands’ End will become a publicly traded company, independent of Sears Holdings.

The shares of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) gained more than 4% to $39.11 per share after Alibaba Group Holding Ltd started the process for an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States. Yahoo owns a 24% stake in Alibaba, which has an estimated market value of approximately $153 billion.