World markets edge higher on earning, data

LONDON (AP) — European markets largely pushed past their Asian counterparts Tuesday, rallying on upbeat economic and earnings data that for the moment eclipsed an earlier sell-off prompted by the U.S. government's fraud case against Goldman Sachs & Co.

London's FTSE 100 was 1 percent higher, at 5782.99 while France's CAC 40 rose by 1.3 percent to 4,023.14.

Germany's DAX rallied ahead by 1.6 percent to 6,260.17, pulled ahead by strong economic data from Europe's largest economy.

In late morning trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 24.48, or 0.2 percent, to 11,116.53. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 7.20, or 0.6 percent, to 1,204.72. The Nasdaq composite index rose 11.43, or 0.5 percent, to 2,491.54. The Dow had gained 73.39 points, or 0.7 percent on Monday to 11,092.05.

Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia, said the market climbed ahead of more U.S. corporate earnings reports so a slowdown isn't unexpected now that earnings are starting to arrive. "We got paid ahead for this earnings period," he said.

The gains in Europe ran ahead of gains in Asia, and pre-empted a rise in most stocks in the U.S., which built on the previous day's late rally driven by solid earnings reports. Oil surged above $83 per barrel by midmorning on the New York Mercantile Exchange, erasing the prior day's decline fueled by flight disruptions in Europe from the Icelandic volcano, as well as the potential broader impact of the Goldman charges on other banks.

Markets worldwide had retreated after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Goldman last week with fraud for its dealings in subprime mortgage securities.

Earlier concerns that the investigation would spread to other banks were slightly tempered first by Citigroup Inc.'s surprisingly strong first quarter profits report late Monday, then by Goldman, itself, which announced Tuesday its first-quarter earnings almost doubled to $3.3 billion.

News that Britain's financial regulator was launching a full-blown investigation into Goldman Sachs International had temporarily pared gains in Europe, but the market rebounded.

The Financial Services Authority's interest in the case is likely to focus on the Royal Bank of Scotland, which paid $841 million to Goldman Sachs in 2007 to unwind its position in a fund acquired in the takeover of Dutch Bank ABN Amro, according to the complaint filed in the United States.

A closely watched survey showed Tuesday that German investor confidence increased in April to 53 points, buoyed by an increase in exports and a steady flow of orders. A day earlier, automaker Daimler AG posted strong preliminary results bolstered by "very solid results" at its core Mercedes-Benz Cars unit.

The gains in Europe followed rebounds in Asia, which saw Hong Kong's Hang Send index climb 1 percent to 21.623.38 and South Korea's Kospi up 0.8 percent at 1,718.03.

Markets in India, Australia and Taiwan also gained while Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average bucked the trend, shedding 0.1 percent to 10,900.68.

Chinese shares, down nearly 5 percent the day before after government took more action to restrain property prices, fell early in the session before stabilizing to close flat. The main Shanghai index finished virtually unchanged at 2,979.53.

Benchmark crude for May delivery was up $1.81 at $83.26. The contract fell $1.79 on Monday to settle at $81.45.

The dollar rose to 93.27 from 92.47 yen late Monday. The euro stood at $1.3449, down just 0.004 percent from the prior day.