U.S. stocks edged higher during early trade on Wednesday as investors’ risk appetite was boosted after aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA
) raised its outlook on global aluminum demand in 2013 even as its earnings for the fourth quarter were in line with Street’s expectation.
At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index gained 0.58%; the Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 0.43 %while the S&P 500 moved up Index 0.46%
Shares of Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ: CLWR
) rallied on Wednesday after DISH Network (NASDAQ: DISH) offered the carrier $2.28 billion in takeover bid, surpassing Sprint Nextel’s (NYSE: S
) earlier offer of $2.2 billion. At present Sprint Nextel holds 50% stake in Clearwire.
Shares of Apollo Group (NASDAQ: APOL
) slumped in early trade after for-profit education service provider projected a weaker than expected outlook for fiscal 2013, following closing bell on Tuesday. However, fiscal first quarter results bettered Street’s expectations.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB
) shares gained after the social networking giant sent press event invitation for next week at its Menlo Park Campus, leading to a speculation that either the company can unveil a phone or talk about search engine.
In Europe, all leading benchmark indexes held strong gains on Wednesday as disappointing German economic data was offset by Alcoa’s upbeat outlook. At last check, the Pan European Stoxx 600 Index gained 0.54%, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.77% while Spain’s Ibex 35 leaped 1.30%. On Thursday, the Euroepan Central Bank (ECB) is scheduled to hold its policy rate meeting. Speculation is rife that the ECB will keep benchmark interest rate unchanged.
Germany’s industrial production grew at 0.2 percent in November even as economists were expecting 1 percent growth.
On U.S. economic data front, a data provided by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that Weekly mortgage applications rose last week, ending declining trend of last three weeks.