By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK | Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:20pm BST
(Reuters) – Shares on Wall Street rose with oil prices on Monday as acquisition news and stronger-than-expected economic data in Japan led markets to steadily forge ahead after last week’s wild swings.
Global equities climbed further out of their August hole on news that Japan’s economy shrank less than anticipated in the second quarter as companies made strides in restoring output following a devastating earthquake and tsunami.
“The Japanese news, while not overly encouraging, was another data point showing things are not nearly as bad as the selloff seemed to suggest,” said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in New York.
“This is an extremely jittery market, just looking to avoid significant bad news,” he said. “I would expect there to be less volatility than we saw last week.”
Hopes that a Tuesday meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will lead to a breakthrough on the European debt crisis added to gains.
“You have the two of the strongest people in a weak environment coming together to do something about this,” said Adam Sarhan, founder of Sarhan Capital in New York. “The markets are pricing in a situation where some of the extreme or Armageddon-type scenarios in the debt crisis will hopefully be elevated or be off the table after they meet.”
Wall Street’s Dow Jones industrial average .DJI closed up 213.88 points, or 1.90 percent, at 11,482.90. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX was up 25.68 points, or 2.18 percent, at 1,204.49. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was up 47.22 points, or 1.88 percent, at 2,555.20.
The S&P 500 fell to a near one-year low last week as markets tumbled initially on the first-ever U.S. credit ratings downgrade and fears that Europe’s debt woes may spread. They then rebounded with almost equal force, rising more than 6 percent over the last three sessions.
“You’re seeing kind of a reversal from last week in financials,” said Thomas Villalta, portfolio manager for Jones Villalta Asset Management in Austin, Texas.
Analysts said strong buying from the corporate sector and a step up in M&A activity — such as the Google offer — aided the recovery. Motorola Mobility, the phone maker, rose 56 percent to $38.13 while Google fell 1.2 percent to $557.23.
As for the U.S. economy, a gauge of manufacturing in New York State fell for a third month in a row in August as factory orders hit their lowest level since November 2010, the New York Federal Reserve said.
Separate data from the U.S. Treasury Department showed foreigners unloaded U.S. assets in June for a second straight month and were net sellers of Treasury securities for the first time in more than two years as concern about a U.S. credit downgrade soured overseas demand.
MSCI’s all-country world stock index .MIWD00000PUS, a broad measure of global equities, rose nearly 2 percent, ratcheting up an 8 percent gain since hitting an 11-month low on Thursday.
The dollar’s drop to a three-week low against the euro, at $1.44779, lent support to commodities. U.S. crude oil settled up 3 percent at nearly $88 per barrel.
The euro was also lifted by news that the European Central Bank spent 22 billion euros to buy government debt last week to stem the spread of the debt crisis to Spain and Italy. It was the most the ECB had spent in a week on such purchases since it began buying debt in May 2010.
Most U.S. Treasuries prices were stable, while long bond prices dropped as stocks recovered and investors looked for signs of stability after last week.
The benchmark 10-year notes were last unchanged in price to yield 2.26 percent.