Source: Charles Schwab Market Update posted 11:15 AM 2/01/11

The US equity markets are nicely higher in late-morning action as the highest level of manufacturing activity expansion since May 2004 is helping boost the major indices to session highs. Today’s US report joins a chorus of favorable manufacturing data across the globe, helping overshadow rising inflationary pressures that were evident in the global data, as well as lingering uneasiness toward the political unrest in Egypt. Treasuries are lower after the release, which more than offset an unexpected drop in US construction spending. In equity news, Dow member Pfizer Inc, and UPS both topped analysts’ profit projections, and General Motors Co posted a jump in January US auto sales. However, shares of Orexigen Therapeutics Inc are sharply lower after the company’s diet-drug was rejected by the FDA. Overseas, Asia was mostly higher on the aforementioned economic optimism, which is also buoying European markets.

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