12:00 PM New York – Stocks on Wall Street gained after auto sales were ahead of expectations and China reported a slight expansion in manufacturing. U.S. construction spending edged up in May but at a slower pace than in April. Chrysler, GM and Nissan reported higher than expected sales in June.
Stocks on Wall Street advanced after automakers and retailer led the latest surge and indexes flirted at new highs.
June auto sales are expected to stay at a seasonal annual rate above 16.3 million vehicles.
Chrysler June sales increased 9% to 171,086 units and General Motors sales increased 1% in June to 267,461 vehicles. Ford sales fell 6% to 222,064 units. Nissan sales increased 5.3% from a year ago month to 109,643 and Hyundai sales gained 3.7% to 67,407.
Construction spending edged up 0.1% in May after 0.8% rise in April, the Commerce Department reported. The two-month increase in spending following the decline in January and February and flat sales in March.
Construction activity totaled $958.1 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, an increase of 6.6% from a year ago month.
S&P 500 index increased 9.01 or 0.46% to 1,969.23 and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 38.25 or 0.9% to 4,446.43.
The S&P 500 index advanced 4.7% in the second quarter and jumped 6.1% at the end of second quarter. Russell 2000 Index traded just below its all-time record high and the tech heavy Nasdaq at 14-year high.
U.S. factory index in June was unchanged at 55.3 from 55.4 in May, the Institute of Supply Management said today. Any reading higher than 50 shows an expansion.
The official measure of manufacturing in China showed an increase tracked by the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistic and Purchasing.
The index increased to 51 in June from 50.8 in May.
Stocks in Tokyo closed higher after the latest survey of large companies showed a planned increase in capital spending.
Large companies in Japan are planning to increase capital spending 7.4% in the current fiscal year to March 2015, a Bank of Japan report showed today.
The increase in capital spending was revised higher by 0.1 percentage point from the previous month report.
Investors in Japan are awaiting earnings in June quarter and market sentiment improved after large companies revised capital spending higher.
The Tankan survey conducted by the central bank showed that the inflation pressures are building up. The output price index for manufacturers advanced to minus 2 from minus 3 in March and price index for non-manufacturers rose to 8 from 6.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average jumped 164.10 or 1.1% to 15,326.20 and the broader Topix index gained 13.52 to 1,276.08.
The yen weakened to close at 101.53 against one U.S. dollar.
The Sensex Index gained 102.57 or 0.4% to close at 25,516.35 The CNX Nifty rose 23.35 to 7,634.70.