U.S. Equities Surge as Consumer Confidence Index Rises Faster than Expected

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U.S. Equities Surge as Consumer Confidence Index Rises Faster than ExpectedU.S. stocks surged as figures showed that consumer confidence rose more than expected in March while Eurozone stocks bounced back after posting their biggest decline in two weeks.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) had gained 0.7 percent to 1,870.15 by 10.15 a.m. in New York, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index surged 1.3 percent after posting a decline of 1.1 percent on Monday.

 The U.S. consumer confidence index exceeded expectations this month, while the sales of homes fell in February. Investor confidence in Germany plummeted for the second time in five months, while the West rolled out sanctions against Russia to discourage it from annexing parts of Ukraine, and suspended its membership from the Group of Eight.

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 “There is a lot of support for the market after down days,” William Hobbs, the head of equity strategy at the wealth-management division of Barclays Plc’s told Bloomberg. “We expect synchronized and accelerating growth from most of the developed economies.”

The S&P 500 Index fell on Monday after the latest economic figures show that America’s factory activity slowed down, while biotech stocks plunged. The yardstick index touched an intraday high on March 21 after data showed that the economy is emerging from the slowdown fuelled by the extreme winter weather.

The Conference Board’s index of U.S. consumer confidence surged to 82.3 this month, up from 78.3 in February. This exceeded the median estimate of 78.5 in a Bloomberg poll of 76 economists. Consumer spending contributes about 70 of the economic activity in the United States.

To contact the reporter of this story; Samuel Rae at samuel@forexminute.com