Wall Street and European markets gained ground today on a whiff of strengthening in key parts of the economy.
The ISM manufacturing index in the U.S. rose to 54.1, the best reading since June, as the ADP National Employment Report showed that the private sector added 170,000 jobs last month. And a survey by Markit, a financial services company, showed that manufacturing in the Euro zone was stronger in January compared with December.
But Amazon.com’s stock flopped 7.7 percent to $179.46 after the company said late Tuesday that its fourth-quarter profits fell 57 percent, dragging the S&P Retail Index down 0.6 percent, or 3.54 points, to 550.95.
Most retailers were on the rise including The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., up 7.9 percent to $4.38; Guess Inc., 6 percent to $31.81; Vera Bradley Inc., 3.7 percent to $37.14; Liz Claiborne Inc., 3 percent to $9.58, and Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., 2.8 percent to $1.85.
In Europe, the FTSE MIB in Milan led the pack, rising 2.7 percent to 16,256.69, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, which climbed 2.4 percent to 6,616.64. The CAC 40 in Paris advanced 2.1 percent to 3,367.46 while the FTSE 100 in London rose 1.9 percent to 5,790.72.
Retail and luxury stocks were up, with the day’s biggest gainers including Burberry Group, which rose 4.8 percent to 14.07 pounds; Hugo Boss, which advanced 4.7 percent to 67.90 pounds; French Connection, which climbed 7.3 percent to 0.53 pounds, and Marcolin, which soared 8.1 percent to 3.69 euros.
The euro traded at $1.32, while pound traded at $1.58.