Market gains on strong factory data

US stocks rose yesterday as signs of strength in the economy and higher-than-expected profit at FedEx outweighed warnings about Europe.

The US equity market continued its familiar back-and-forth rotation between optimism about the US economy and fears Europe’s debt crisis could spark a global recession.

Lately the fear trade has been winning, but FedEx boosted sentiment. Shares shot up eight per cent to $82.47 after the package delivery company, viewed as an economic bellwether, posted stronger-than-expected quarterly profit.

Data showed weekly applications for unemployment benefit fell to a three-and-a-half year low, while a gauge of New York state manufacturing activity rose to its highest level since May.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 45.33 points, or 0.38 per cent, at 11,868.81. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 3.93 points, or 0.32 per cent, at 1,215.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1.70 points, or 0.07 per cent, at 2,541.01.