Stocks climbed. Here’s the scoreboard:
S&P500: 1,839.77 +11.02 +0.60%
Dow: 16,133.10 +92.54 +0.58%
NASDAQ: 4,267.55 +29.59 +0.70%
And now the top stories:
— Markets shrugged off the nasty Chinese PMI reading that came in overnight and ran with the relatively solid U.S. economic data that came in today. U.S. flash PMI unexpectedly climbed. Jobless claims fell more than expected. Consumer prices came in in-line. The Philly Fed’s survey unexpectedly collapsed, but the lagging data was concentrated in shipments, which was blamed on weather.
— Facebook shares climbed 2.3% as investors digested their blockbuster purchase of messaging service WhatsApp for up to $US19 billion. Henry Blodget explained why he likes the deal.
— Tesla shares rode yesterday’s after-the-bell, post-earnings surge to an 8% gain as it raised guidance.
— Walmart fell more than 1% on a profits warnings, though Q4 earnings came in in-line. “Some of the factors affecting our consumers include reductions in government benefits, higher taxes and tighter credit. Further, we have higher group health care costs in the U.S,” CFO Charles Holley said.
— Verizon and Blackberry both climbed 3%. The former benefited from a bullish Jefferies note, while the latter is riding the tailcoats of the WhatsApp deal — the FT’s Richard Blackden says attention is now on the Canadian firm’s own messaging service.
— Prices for Bitcoin on MtGox fell 50% to $US110. The firm said in a release that the recent protests outside its office had forced it to move to a new location, which further set back its progress on fixing its wallet issues. Prices on Coindesk dipped below $US600.
— Natural gas prices fell 1.75%, as the latest EIA storage report came in in-line with expectations.
— Stay tuned for Groupon and HP earnings!