U.S. stocks edged higher in early trading on Monday, tracking strong gains in European and Asian equities, sparked by news which said that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will back a contender, who is known to have a very dovish stance on monetary policies, for the top post at the Bank of Japan (BOJ). Exit poll results ruling out the threat of a hung-parliament in Italy also bolstered the market sentiment.
At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index gained 0.48%; the NASDAQ Composite Index edged up 0.65% while the S&P 500 Index added 0.51%.
Shares of Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ
) gained almost 7% in early trade after the rental-car Company handed better than expected fiscal fourth-quarter results, citing improvement in pricing and benefits arising from the acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. The Company also provided optimistic guidance for the current fiscal year.
Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS
) rallied on Monday after Company’s Chairman and biggest shareholder, Leonard Riggio said in a regulatory filing that he plans to propose to buyout the retail division, possibly separating the company into two. The Company is scheduled to reports its quarterly earnings on Thursday.
Despite downbeat outlook on current fiscal, shares of Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW
) remained mainly flat as the retailer handed better-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter earnings.
In Japan, the government is likely to back Haruhiko Kuroda for the post of BOJ governor. Kuroda, who is currently the President of Asian Development Bank, is a proponent of easy monetary policy and is likely to press for more dovish policies, as the country looks to come out of the years of economic stagnation.
In Italy, a poll conducted by analysts at Citi showed that there was only a 7% chance of a fractured mandate or “hung-parliament”. A recently released exit polls results showed that center-left Democratic Party was likely to sweep elections.
At last check, the Stoxx 600 was gaining 0.42%, FTSE was adding 0.69% while DAX was climbing 2.35%.