US stocks closed higher on Wednesday, marking second straight session gains as investors celebrated positive earnings reports from the financial sector. Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Bank of America Corp produced earnings and profits that topped expectations on the back of healthy mergers and acquisitions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 141.57 points, or 0.6%, to 24,207.16, while the S&P 500 index climbed 5.80 points, or 0.2%, to 2,616.10. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 10.86 points, 0.2%, to 7,034.69.
European markets also closed higher, with shares in Deutsche Bank and Italian lenders leading the gains on the back of positive earnings. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up almost half a percent at the closing bell, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory. The UK’s FTSE 100 however wobbled as investors reacted to the bigger-than-expected defeat of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit Plan.
May survives “No Confidence” vote
UK Prime Minister Theresa May fought off the threat of a national election and won the right to continue running the country when the House of Commons voted 325 to 306 against a motion of “no confidence” in her administration. The leader survived an attempt to oust her government and immediately opened talks with rival political parties in an attempt to break the Brexit deadlock, as time runs out to reach a deal.
It has been a time of much political drama as the Prime Minister saw her Brexit deal rejected in the biggest Parliamentary defeat for a British government in 95 years after her last minute pleas for support appeared to fall on deaf ears. May is now entering the most delicate and dangerous negotiations of the country’s split from the European Union as she searches for a compromise with her political enemies that will deliver a Brexit deal. The pound initially rose on expectations a cross-party approach would yield a Brexit plan that protects trading links with the bloc.
Airbus expanding US production
Airbus SE expanded its industrial presence in the United States on Wednesday, starting construction on a new assembly plant for the Canadian developed A220 jetliner in Mobile, Alabama, 18 months after agreeing to buy the plane in the midst of a U.S.-Ottawa trade dispute. Speaking to an audience of Alabama politicians and aerospace workers, Chief Executive Tom Enders hailed a “day of pride” for Airbus at a ceremony peppered with patriotic U.S. references and highlighting other investments in helicopters and satellites.
The European planemaker said it would invest $300 million and create 400 jobs in the plant, to be built in the port of Mobile, alongside an existing assembly line for its best-selling A320 passenger jet, which already employs 700 people. The decision to produce some A220’s in the United States was initially seen as a trade boost for Canada after Boeing accused its developer Bombardier Inc of dumping the foreign-made jet at low-ball prices to win a deal with Delta Air Lines Inc.
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