Stock markets in the United States once again ended the trading session higher, driven by a rebound in the stocks of small companies and strong manufacturing data that increased confidence in the growth of the economy.

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The latest report from Markit Economics showed that the U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) increased to 56.2% in May from 54.4% last month. According to the firm, data showed that U.S. manufacturers recorded their best month-to-month production growth since February 2011. Manufacturers attributed their latest increase in production to a combination of higher new orders and work on outstanding contracts.

Markit Senior Economist Paul Smith said, “The U.S. manufacturing sector continued to gain strength heading into mid-year as supportive demand conditions led to the sharp month-on-month increase in production for over three years. This provides further confirmation that industry will aid a rebound in U.S. GDP in the second quarter…”

Separate data showed that sales of previously owned homes in the United States climbed in April. On the other hand, the Labor Department reported that the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits increased last week.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,543.08 (+0.06%%)
  • S&P 500- 1,892.49 (+0.24 %)
  • NASDAQ- 4,154.34 (+0.55%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,114.67 (+1.00%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,187.63 (+0.02%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,820.56 (-0.01%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,720.91 (+0.24%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,337.79 (+2.11%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,953.76 (+0.51%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,131.11 (-0.22%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR) jumped 6.62% to $53.31 per share after the discount retailer reported better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter. The company generated earning of 67 cents per share, compared with the 66 cents per share estimated by Wall Street analysts.

Shares of JD.Com Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:JD) rallied 10% from their offering price of $19 to close at $20.90 per share. The Chinese online retailer raised $1.78 billion in its initial public offering (IPO).

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM) gained more than 8% to close at $68.93 per share after reporting earnings that exceeded the consensus estimates of analysts and raising its guidance for the full year. The seller of cookware and home furnishings posted 48 cents in earnings per share, higher than the 44 cents in earnings per share forecast by analysts. The company projected that it will be able to deliver full-year earnings of $3.17 per share. Its previous estimate was $3.15 per share.