10:15 AM New York – U.S. stocks advanced and retail sales rose more than expected in March, TIAA-CREF agreed to acquire Nuveen Investments for $6.25 billion. Euro zone industrial production edged up 0.2% in February. Tensions in Europe rose after violence in Ukraine intensified.
U.S. stocks advanced after retail sales rose more than expected in March. Investors were on the defensive as European market indexes turned lower and Asian markets closed down.
Retail sales increased 1.1% in March, the largest rise since September 2012, according to the data released by the Commerce Department. Sales were higher than 0.7% estimated by economists surveyed by Ticker.com.
March retail and food services sales were $433.9 billion an increase of 3.8% from a year ago month.
February retail sales increase was revised higher to 0.7% from the previous estimate of 0.3%.
Retail sales rose 0.7% from February excluding more volatile category of automobiles and parts.
Auto sales increased 3.1% from the previous month and gained 2.6% from a year ago month and general merchandise store sales increased 1.9%, the largest monthly increase since March 2007.
TIAA-CREF to Buy Nuveen Investments
Financial services provider TIAA-CREF agreed to acquire Nuveen Investments for $6.25 billion, including debt.
Nuveen manages $221 billion in assets and works primarily with financial advisors focused on high net worth individuals. TIAA-CREF focuses on managing assets for academic and non-profit institutions.
With the largest acquisition ever, TIAA-CREF assets under management will increase to $800 billion. The deal is approved by boards of both companies.
Nuveen is currently owned by an investor group led by private equity firm, Madison Dearborn Partners.
After the acquisition, John Amboian will continue as Nuveen’s CEO and the company will operate as a separate division and keep its multi-boutique business model.
Euro zone industrial production increased 0.2% in February after remaining unchanged in January, Eurostat said in a report today.
European markets trimmed early losses and violence intensified in Eastern Ukraine. Russian ruble eased after Camouflaged gunmen fired at Ukraine government troops near police stations at Slovyansk, about 150 miles from the border with Russia.
Market indexes in Japan extended weekly losses as stocks in Asia declined on a selloff in tech and commodities sector.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 49.89 or 0.4% to 13,910.16 and the Topix index slid 1.33 to 1,132.76.
The yen strengthened to 101.54 against the U.S. dollar.
Markets in India are closed for a holiday and indexes in Shanghai eased