U.S. Markets closed

Stocks climb as good news continues

David Russell (david.russell@optionmonster.com)

Stocks are rising this morning as continued strong economic news and earnings give investors no reason to sell.

S&P 500 futures have been accelerating throughout the morning and are now up about one-third of 1 percent. European markets have been climbing as well, punctuated by a gain of more than 1 percent in Frankfurt.

Asian indexes were mostly higher overnight. Japan's Nikkei stood out once again with rally of almost 3 percent.

The German Ifo survey of business sentiment rose two points to 104.2, beating the 103 forecast by economists. The news follows other strong reports from Europe this week, including the German Zew survey of investor confidence and strong purchasing managers data.

The S&P 500 has been climbing to levels last seen in late 2007 amid the onset of financial crisis. Corporate earnings have also been mostly been positive, highlighted today by strong numbers from Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark and Honeywell.

Recovery in Europe from the Greek and Spanish debt crises has also played a key role in the gains. That trend continued today as the euro rallied more than half a percent against the United States dollar. Billionaire currency trader George Soros added fuel to the fire by predicting that the trend will continue. He also said interest rates are likely to climb this year.

The Japanese yen has been falling sharply since November, which has also supported sentiment because it tends to move in the opposite direction as equities and commodities. The weak yen has lifted stock prices in Tokyo, as well.

Trading in the commodity market is mixed. Oil prices are slightly higher, but precious metals and agricultural foodstuffs are falling.

Among individual companies, PG is up almost 2 percent on its strong report. Mattress maker Tempur-Pedic International is poised to open higher after its quarterly results beat estimates, while rival Select Comfort is down on weak numbers. Computer-interface maker Synaptics is also surging about 15 percent after beating consensus and issuing a strong revenue outlook.

More From optionMONSTER