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Market Update

U.S. Leads Global Markets Rally


Author: Nichole Harper
ticker.com
Last Update: 2:23 PM ET December 18 2014

2:20 PM New York Ė Stock markets around the world extended gains for the second day in a row after the Fed showed a patient approach to the rate increase and lowered inflation and jobless estimates. European markets soared between 2% and 3%. Gold and oil traded with downward bias.

U.S. stocks led the global market rally after the Fedís patient approach soothed nerves around the world.

U.S. indexes jumped more than 1% and indexes in Europe shot up between 2% and 3% and in Asia jumped higher as well.

However, commodities prices drifted lower and New York State is the first state in the U.S. to ban hydraulic fracking to extract more oil from shale gas fields.

On Wall Street trading, Tollbooth Strategy Index jumped 1.1% or 108.08 to 9,941.64.

S&P 500 index jumped 29.28 or 1.5% to 2,042.26 and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 69.80 or 1.5% to 4,714.05.

The Department of Labor reported seasonally adjusted weekly jobless claims fell 6,000 to 289,000 from the previous week revised claims of 295,000.

U.S. Movers

ConAgra Foods Inc (CAG), the packaged food company reported net sales in the second-quarter ending on November 23 fell 1.7% to $4.15 billion from a year ago period.

Net income in the quarter tumbled 96% to $10 million or 2 cents a diluted share compared to $248.7 million or 58 cents from a same quarter last year.

Rite Aid Corporation (RAD), the drugstore chain retailer reported total sales in the third-quarter ending in November jumped 4.7% to $6.7 billion from a year ago period. Same store sales in the quarter climbed 5.4%.

Net income in the quarter surged 46.6% to $104.7 million or 10 cents a diluted share compared to $71.5 million or 4 cents from a same quarter last year

Scholastic Corp (SCHL), the publishing, education and media company said revenues in the second-quarter ending in November climbed 6.8% to $665.6 million from a year ago period.

Net income in the quarter soared 17.5% to $68.5 million or $2.05 a diluted share compared to $58.3 million or $1.80 from a same quarter last year.

European Markets

In London trading, FTSE 100 index climbed 1.6% or 103.05 to 6,439.53 and in Frankfurt the DAX index soared 2.2% or 213.71 to 9,758.14.

In Paris, CAC 40 index surged 2.9% or 119.30 to 4,231.21.

In the European corporate news, Fortune Oil agreed to acquire by Fortune Dynasty Holdings for £388 million. Hansteen Holdings sell 11 assets in UK for about £43.9 million.

Swisscom declined after French billionaire Xavier Niel agreed to acquire Orange Switzerland for 2.8 billion Swiss francs.

Fortune Oil Plc, the U.K.-based oil and gas supplier agreed to be acquired by Fortune Dynasty Holdings Ltd for a cash offer at a premium of 58.5% from closing price of 6.31 pence of yesterday, totaling £388 million.

Swisscom AG, the French billionaire Xavier Nielís subsidiary NJJ Capital agreed to acquire Orange Switzerland for 2.8 billion Swiss francs or $2.9 billion from a consortium advised by Apax Partners.

Asian Markets

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc