The stock market returned to positive territory as the earnings report from Alcoa (AA) and successful European bond auctions helped re-ignite confidence. Alcoa reported a record revenue total of $6.0 billion (which exceeded analyst estimates of $5.77 billion). Alcoa’s earnings were 10 cents per share, compared with expectations for a 4-cent loss per share. Nevertheless, a Bloomberg survey of analysts suggested that six of the largest lenders – including JP Morgan Chase – could post an 11% drop in first-quarter profit, posing a threat to this incipient rally.
In Europe, the Italian stock market rallied after a successful auction of €11 billion in one-year debt, causing the yield on Italy’s ten year bonds to fall 0.15% to 5.54% (NYSEARCA:EWI). German carmakers Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler AG each made significant gains exceeding 2% in Wednesday’s trading (NYSEARCA:EWG). As of 9:34 EDT, the Euro STOXX 50 Index jumped by 1.42% to 2,354 (NYSEARCA:VGK). The FTSE 100 advanced by 0.74% to 5,636 (NYSEARCA:EWU). The German DAX Index gained 1.44% to 6,701.
In Asia, Japan’s machinery orders climbed 4.8 percent, despite expectations for a decline of 0.8 percent. Nevertheless, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined by 0.83% to 9,458 despite weakening of the yen in anticipation of monetary stimulus efforts by the Bank of Japan. (NYSEARCA:EWJ).
China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.13% to 2,308 (NYSEARCA:FXI). The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index declined by 1.06% to 20,140.
May futures for Brent Crude Oil increased by 4 cents to $119.92/bbl.
June gold futures declined by 60 cents to $1,660.
The euro is up against the dollar by 0.44% trading at $1.3139.
In the United States, stocks got off to a decent start, with the S&P 500 up 0.05% to 1,365 at the opening bell. At 10:20 EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 108 points (0.85%) to 12,824. The S&P 500 advanced by 1.05% to 1,372. The Nasdaq Composite rose by 1.11% to 3,024.
iShares Dow Jones US Industrial Sector Index Fund (NYSEARCA:IYJ) +1.12% following Alcoa’s upbeat earnings report.
iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund (NYSEARCA:EWI) +4.00% as a result of Italy’s successful bond auction.
iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund (NYSEARCA:EWG) +2.92% following impressive gains made by German automakers in Wednesday’s trading session.
Vanguard MSCI Europe ETF (NYSEARCA:VGK) +2.54% as a result of advances in European stock markets following successful bond auctions.
iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund (NYSEARCA:EWJ) +1.09% as a result of surprising increase in machinery orders.
SPDR S&P 500 INDEX ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY) +1.14% as investors regain confidence in market following European rebound.
Bottom line: American stock indices make significant advances as concerns about European sovereign debt crisis subside following successful bond auctions and rumors that European Central Bank may restart Spanish bond purchases.
Disclaimer: Wall Street Sector Selector trades a wide variety of ETFs and positions can change at any time.