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Durable goods orders lift sentiment on Wall Street

Benchmarks have opened sharply higher, but we've been here before.
Like the incy wincy spider ...

It was a case of so-far, so-good after an hour or so of trading, with US markets opening higher on the back of solid durables goods numbers.

Durable goods orders for July showed a seasonally adjusted rise of 2.0%, when economists had been expecting a 0.6% decline.

"Today’s durable goods figure makes good reading for the world’s largest economy, but, after a chaotic start to the week for global markets, this jump in orders may not be enough to alter the Federal Reserve’s likely plan to delay an interest rate rise a little longer," suggested Dennis de Jong, managing director of forex firm

“Fed Chair Janet Yellen will now be keeping a close eye on the after-shocks of China’s economic rumble before rushing into a rate hike but, if markets regain stability, a rise could still happen before 2016,” de Jong postulated.

Action by the People's Bank of China to quell turbulence in Chinese markets has also given encouragement to the bulls.

The central bank is said to be preparing to inject 140bn yuan into the country's financial sector, topping up last week's 120bn yuan injection.

While European indices were in arrears, US benchmarks were firmer.

The Dow Jones was up 298 points at 15,964, the S&P 500 was 32 points better at 1,900.0 and Nasdaq Composite was 84 points to the good at 4,591.

Apparel providers were in focus this morning.

Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) were on investors' shopping list after the teen apparel retailer reported a surprise adjusted profit and better-than-expected sales in its fiscal second quarter, buoyed by demand for Hollister and Abercrombie kids brands.

Shares gained as much as 12.6%.

Sector peer Express (NYSE:EXPR) has raised its full-year outlook after a record second quarter sales performance.

Shares were up 17.4% to US$19.82 after the company revealed like-for-like (LFL) sales growth of 7% in the thirteen weeks to 1 August, the second quarter of the company's financial year.

Footwear maker Nike (NYSE:NIKE) was wanted, after it was upgraded by Susquehanna. The shares trotted 1.435 higher.

In mergers & acquisition news, Monsanto (NYSE:MON) has been sent away with a flea in its ear by Swiss rival Syngenta after making a bid approach, and has revealed that it is no longer pursuing a takeover.

Shares in Cameron International (NYSE:CAM) spurted higher, after the maker of flow equipment for the energy industry succumbed to an agreed bid from oilfield services titan Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) worth around US$68.36 a share.

Shares advanced more than 41% to US$59.95.

Elsewhere in the oilfield support services sector, Transocean (NYSE:RIG) sank 3.8%, a day after the world’s top offshore rig operator said it planned to cancel its next two dividend payments and take write-downs of more than $2.1bn.

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