Belfast Telegraph

US stocks jump after strong report from China

US stocks have bounced back from recent losses after the Chinese government said the country's economy grew at a slightly faster pace in the first quarter.

After losses in three of the last four weeks, stocks had their best day in more than a month. The largest gains went to industries that would benefit the most from faster global economic growth.

Among banks, the leaders included M&T Bank, which became the latest financial company to report strong first-quarter results. Technology companies were led by chipmaker Nvidia and Google parent company Alphabet, while online retail giant Amazon and streaming video company Netflix also made large gains.

"It was good news to see a positive number coming out of the world's second-largest economy," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial.

"It was the strongest GDP reading in six quarters, and much of it was based on their infrastructure spending and also the housing market."

The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 20.06 points, or 0.9%, to 2,349.01, while the Dow Jones industrial average rose 183.67 points, or 0.9%, to 20,636.92.

The Nasdaq composite jumped 51.64 points, or 0.9%, to 5,856.79, and the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks soared 15.94 points, or 1.2%, to 1,361.18.

China's recovering economy grew another 6.9% in the first quarter. In 2016 it grew at its slowest pace in almost 30 years, and the government spent more money on construction of infrastructure such as roads and bridges in response.

Medical device maker Alere surged after it accepted a modified buyout offer from Abbott Laboratories. Abbott agreed to buy Alere for 56 US dollars (£44) per share, or 5.8 billion US dollars (£4.6 billion), more than a year ago. But it filed a lawsuit to end the deal after Alere recalled a key product, delayed filing a financial statement, and faced a Justice Department investigation into its business outside the US.

Under the new agreement, Abbott will pay 51 US dollars (£40) a share, or about 5.3 billion US dollars (£4.2 billion), and Alere climbed 15.9%.

Arconic jumped after the company said chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld agreed to step down after the board of directors discovered that he sent a letter to Arconic's largest shareholder, activist investment firm Elliott Management, without telling the board. Arconic said that was "poor judgment", though it did not say what he wrote in the letter.

Arconic makes aluminum, titanium and nickel parts for planes, cars and electronics. It was spun off from aluminum company Alcoa last year. The stock gained 3.1% to 26.69 US dollars (£21.20).

Netflix climbed 3% to 147.25 US dollars (£117) on Monday, but slumped 1.5% in aftermarket trading as it did not gain as many subscribers in the first quarter as investors hoped and its profit guidance also fell short of analyst estimates.

Benchmark US crude lost 53 cents, or 1%, to 52.65 US dollars (£41.90) a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 53 cents to 55.36 US dollars (£44) per barrel in London.