Stocks Began Higher with Italy and Japan

U.S. stocks began higher on Monday, with the S&P 500 bouncing back after its first weekly decline in eight, as Italians voted in general elections and on thinking Japan would move to stimulate its economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 52.65 points, or 0.38%, to 14,053.22. The S&P 500 index added 7.50 points, or 0.49%, to 1,523.10. The Nasdaq Composite gained 19.32 points, or 0.61%, to 3,181.14.

The first exit polls from the Italian general election put center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani ahead of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, according to Sky Italia.
In an appointment that could finally turn the tide in Japan’s long battle against deflation, a global finance veteran and longtime critic of the Bank of Japan is set to be the government’s choice for the next central bank chief.

Business economists expect 2013 will be another year of sub-par growth for the U.S. economy, reflecting uncertainty stemming from the budget battles in Washington and Europe’s on-going debt problems. But they think the economy will improve as the year progresses and by 2014 will grow at the fastest pace in nine years.

Barnes & Noble founder and chairman Leonard Riggio has told the book seller he is going to try to buy the company’s retail business.

The world’s number one traditional PC maker, HP, just announced plans to sell a $170 7-inch Android tablet in April. That’s less than the cost of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google’s Nexus 7, both based on Android, and both of which sell for $199. It’s less than Apple’s $320 iPad Mini.

Lowe’s Cos Inc’s (LOW) quarterly results beat analysts’ estimates on Monday as sales benefited from rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy and the retailer’s own efforts to improve product selection and customer service.  Lowe’s said it expected total sales to rise about 4 percent from $50.52 billion in the year ended on February 1.

AT&T and General Motors said on Monday that they were working together to add wireless service to most Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles in 2014 in the United States and Canada.

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