Stocks Rally on Strong Global Data

Stocks are pushing back to recent highs today, lifted by strong manufacturing data in China and Europe.

S&P 500 futures are up about two-thirds of a percent amid broad strength in global markets. Germany and Italy are leading the move in Europe with gains of more than 1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei was the strongest index in Asia’s overnight session, rallying 2.5 percent as the yen falls. Shanghai rose almost 2 percent and the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added almost 1 percent.

China’s purchasing managers index came in at 50.1 for July, while economists had expected a 49.9 reading. Markit’s gauge of activity in Europe showed growth for the first time in two years, also beating forecasts. (Readings above 50 indicate expansion for both.) The numbers followed lower unemployment numbers for Europe yesterday and strong economic sentiment on Tuesday.

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