U.S. Markets

U.S. stocks surged on Monday as sentiment was buoyed after Japan made progress in its battle to control radiation leaks at a crippled plant, and AT&T announced that it will buy T-Mobile USA from German company Deutsche Telekom to create the largest mobile provider in the United States.

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The Dow Jones industrial average was up 178.01 points, or 1.50 percent, at 12,036.53. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 19.18 points, or 1.50 percent, at 1,298.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 48.42 points, or 1.83 percent, at 2,692.09.

The latest news out of Japan have been positive; power is back on at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant and companies are beginning to resume operations. The Japanese stock market was closed for a holiday but other Asian equities markets performed well on Monday.

On the corporate front, shares of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) advanced 1.15 percent after the company announced that it will buy T-Mobile USA from German company Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion.

Meanwhile, Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S) shares plunged 13.61 percent as the AT&T deal has negative implications for Sprint and Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR), where a network sharing announcement ahead of a merger between Sprint, Clearwire and T-Mobile was widely anticipated.

Energy sector stocks gained as oil futures have stabilized around $103 per barrel. Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX) gained 2.32 percent and Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) advanced 2.46 percent.

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) shares surged 5.11 percent as the company reported fourth quarter net income of $181.22 million or $1.41 per share compared to $140.37 million or $1.10 per share in the same quarter a year-ago. It also expects fiscal 2011 earnings to be in the range of $3.35 to $3.45 per shares, while analysts expected a profit of $3.25 on sales of $3.37 billion.

On the economic front, existing home sales in the US fell more than expected in February, indicating an uneven recovery in the housing industry. Sales of previously owned homes dropped 9.6 percent to 4.88 million in February compared with an upwardly revised figure of 5.40 million in January and against economists’ estimation of 5.05 million in February.

European Markets

European stock markets rallied on Monday as Japan’s nuclear crisis eased and telecom sector shares gained on news of Deutsche Telekom selling the T-Mobile USA unit.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 1.65 percent to 272.05. DAX30 gained 151.72 points or 2.28 percent to 6,816.12, CAC 40 advanced 94.23 points or 2.47 percent to 3,904.45 and the FTSE 100 gained 67.96 points or 1.19 percent to 5,786.09.

Deutsche Telekom AG jumped 10.32 percent to 10.615 euros after AT&T announced that it will buy T-Mobile USA from German company Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion. Deutsche Telekom stock was upgraded to “overweight” rating from “underweight” rating at HSBC Holdings Plc.

Among other telecom stocks, Vodafone Group Plc. gained 3.56 percent and BT Group Plc. gained 2.42 percent.

Taylor Wimpey Plc gained 3.48 percent after the company stock was upgraded to “outperform” rating from “neutral” rating at Credit Suisse.
Rolls-Royce gained Group Plc. gained 3.45 percent after the company stock was upgraded to “buy” rating from “add” rating at Evolution Securities.

Among banks, Societe Generale surged 3.63 percent and Credit Agricole SA gained 3.2 percent, while BNP Paribas advanced 2.26 percent.

Asian Markets

Asian stock markets ended higher on Monday, as sentiment was buoyed after Japan made progress in its battle to control radiation leaks at a crippled plant.

Energy sector stocks gained as oil prices climbed to near $103 a barrel in Asian trade after the British, French and American jets conducted bombing and attack operations over Libya on Sunday to enforce a no-fly zone over the country to stop Gaddafi's forces from killing civilians.

Meanwhile, the yen fell for a second day during Asian trade on speculation that the G-7 will continue its stimulus to sell the yen versus the greenback to curb the yen's appreciation.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 384.99 points or 1.73 percent to 22,685.22 and Chinese Shanghai composite gained 0.10 percent or 2.93 points to 2,909.81.

Among oil and gas stocks, PetroChina surged 3.29 percent to HK$10.66 and China Shenhua Energy gained 3.09 percent to HK$34.95, while CNOOC Ltd., China's largest offshore oil driller, gained 3.59 percent to HK$17.86.

South Korean shares ended higher with benchmark Seoul composite gaining 22.29 points or 1.13 percent to 2,003.42. KEPCO Engineering & Construction shares surged 9.29 percent and KEPCO Plant Service & Engineering climbed 12.16 percent.

Among transporters and tour agency shares, Korean Air Line surged 4.49 percent and Asiana Airlines climbed 6.91 percent, while Hana Tour Service Inc. gained 2.1 percent and Modetour Network Inc. gained 5.82 percent.

Japanese stock markets are closed for a national holiday on Monday.

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