STOCKS RALLY TO START THE SECOND QUARTER: Here's What You Need To Know

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Stocks hit new highs on good global manufacturing data.First the scoreboard:

Dow: 13,264.4, +52.4, +0.4%
S&P 500: 1,418.9, +10.4, +0.7%
NASDAQ: 3,119.7, +28.1, +0.9%

And now the top stories:

  • The first day of Q2 was a huge day for economic data. Yesterday, Goldman Sachs’ Dominic Wilson, wrote that the information provided in today’s flood of PMI reports would offer a crucial read on the health of the global economy.
  • It all kicked off with mixed signals out of China.  HSBC’s PMI number declined to 48.3 from 49.6, signaling further deceleration in the slowing emerging economy.  However, the official number climbed to 53.1 from 51.0.  A reading below 50 signals contraction for the industry.
  • Following China, the data started rolling in.  Taiwan’s PMI jumped to 54.1 and Ireland’s PMI rebounded to 51.5.  Don’t Miss: In The Last 24 Hours, We Learned The True State Of The Global Economy >
  • Numbers out of the eurozone were much more bleak.  Spain’s PMI fell to 44.5, the worst reading in 11 months.  Italy’s PMI was flat at 47.9. France’s PMI dived to 46.7, its lowest level since 2009.  Germany, the largest country in the eurozone, saw its PMI number fall to 48.4 from 50.2.  Greece’s PMI number actually climbed, but sits at a horrific 41.3.  MAP OF THE DAY: The Full State Of The Global Economy >
  • The PMI data rollout ended strong with the UK’s reading jumping to a 10-month high of 52.1.  The US wrapped things up, reporting that their ISM manufacturing number climbed to 53.4, beating economists’ estimate for 53.0.  Global markets rallied.
  • February construction spending unexpectedly fell by 1.1 per cent versus economists expectation of a 0.7 per cent decline.  Even worse, January’s figures were revised lower.  One area of strength, however, was religious structures.
  • Shares of Groupon collapsed today.  On Friday, management said that it would have to restate its previous earnings figures after its customers flooded it with requests for refunds.  In related bad news for the company, Groupon’s auditor Ernst & Young filed a “statement of material weakness.”
  • An analyst made a name for himself by slapping a $1,001 price target on Apple.  Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets likes Apple’s dominance of the mobile Internet, it’s opportunities in China, and its prospects for Apple TV.
  • BARCLAYS PRESENTS: The 39 Most Innovative Public Companies In America >

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