US stocks markets ended the pre-holiday week by booking solid gains on Friday, after five sessions that saw trade marked by a rare slowdown in bad news from Europe and further evidence of a US recovery.
The major indices began the week in the red amid lingering concerns that the European Central Bank would not step in to stop the eurozone rot.
However, they managed to eke out solid gains by Friday’s close.
While the Frankfurt-based central bank continued to shy away from backing indebted sovereigns, it did open lending windows for European banks, which helped ease panic.
“The signs are encouraging in Europe,” Hugh Johnson of Hugh Johnson Advisors said. “There are some signs, not overwhelming, that things are starting to stabilize in Europe.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 3.6 percent to end the week at 12,294.00 points.
The NASDAQ was up 2.5 percent for the period and the S&P 500 added 3.7 percent for the week.
Stocks were helped by suggestions on Tuesday of a nascent turnaround in the US housing industry, with new home starts up 9.3 percent last month from a year earlier to the best level since April last year, when since-expired government tax credits were driving sales.
“The surge in sales ... suggests the sector is beginning to wake from its long sleep; expect sustained gains in sales and starts ahead,” Ian Shepherdson of High Frequency Economics said.
On Thursday, US stocks scored solid gains on encouraging jobs market data.
Weekly claims for US unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since April 2008 last week, the US Department of Labor said.
Data from Germany also set a more positive tone.
Germany’s Ifo business sentiment index defied analysts’ expectations and rose to 107.2 points this month from 106.6 last month.
“There can be no talk of a crash as in 2008,” Ifo Institute president Hans-Werner Sinn said.
STATE SUBSIDIES: The talks over a factory in Dresden have a top end on par with what Japan is offering TSMC and outdo a cap other firms are being offered in Europe Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, is in talks to receive German government subsidies for as much as 50 percent of the costs to build a new semiconductor fab in the country, people familiar with the matter said. The government is in ongoing negotiations with TSMC, as well as its partners on the project — Bosch Ltd, NXP Semiconductors NV and Infineon Technologies AG — the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. No final decisions have been made and the final subsidy amount could still change. Any state aid must also
South Korea would avoid capitalizing on China’s ban on a US chipmaker, seeing the move by Beijing as an attempt to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington, a person familiar with the situation said. The South Korean government would not encourage its memorychip firms to grab market share in China lost by Micron Technology Inc, which has been barred for use in critical industries by Beijing on national security grounds, the person said. China is the biggest market for South Korea semiconductor firms Samsung Electronics Co and SK Hynix Inc and home to some of their factories. Their operations in China
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) senior vice president of business development Kevin Zhang (張曉強) told reporters yesterday that talks over a possible plant in Germany are continuing and that the earliest decision would be in August. “I don’t want to get into the politics side of the thing, but I do think that there is a need for us to provide our customers with a diverse supply,” Zhang said, adding that Europe is a “very significant geography given the customer base ... [and] the demand.” Zhang did not confirm the size of subsidy or cost of the potential project or
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