(By Balachander) U.S. stocks ended on a sharply higher note amid hopes that Federal Reserve will act to stimulate the economy, overshadowing lingering uncertainties over the debt crisis in Europe.
S&P 500 Index gained 1.17 percent to finish at 1,324.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.31 percent to end at 12,573.80. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.19 percent to close at 2,843.07.
Equities advanced after Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans in an interview with Bloomberg Television backed his support for more stimulus.
On the US economic front, a government data showed that export and import prices fell 0.4 percent and 1.0 percent in May, while economists expected a 1.1 percent drop in import prices but a 0.1 percent rise in export prices. The drop in price index for overall imports is the largest monthly decline in a year.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: FDS, STJ, NAV, ZNGA, KORS, STX, TXT, AONE
In corporate news, FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NYSE:FDS) retreated 12.37 percent after the provider of analytical applications to the global investment community issued fourth-quarter revenue forecast that was slightly below market expectations. It sees revenue between $204 million and $208 million, while analyst expects $210 million for the fourth quarter.
Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA) tumbled 10.27 percent. Cowen and Co. analyst Doug Creutz, citing figures from AppData, said Zynga's daily active users fell 8 percent in May.
St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE:STJ) slumped 5.97 percent after a physician reported to U.S. Food and Drug Administration a failure of the company's Durata wire used to connect life-saving defibrillators to the heart in a single patient.
Navistar International Corp. (NYSE:NAV) dropped 5.53 percent after a court ruled the company can no longer sell heavy duty diesel truck engines that fail to comply with pollution standards.
Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:KORS) jumped 7.62 percent after the apparel retailer reported a jump in quarterly earnings, bolstered by strong results across each of its retail, wholesale and licensing segments and that it guided first quarter above Wall Street projections.
Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) gained 3.99 percent after Berkshire Hathaway's NetJets said it will buy 150 new business jets from Textron's Cessna Aircraft Company.
Seagate Technology Plc (NASDAQ:STX) added 2.79 percent in premarket after David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital lifted his stake in the hard drive manufacturer to 5.4 percent from 3.4 percent.
A123 Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:AONE) shot up nearly 59.60 percent after the maker of energy storage systems unveiled a new lithium ion battery technology - dubbed Nanophosphate EXT - which it claims can potentially reduce or eliminate the need for thermal management.
European markets ended in green. Germany's DAX added 0.33 percent to close at 6,161.24. France's CAC40 edged 0.14 percent higher to finish at 3,046.91. The U.K. FTSE 100 rose 0.76 percent to end at 5,473.74.
Among Asian markets, the Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.66 percent to end at 2,290.69. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.43 percent to close at 18,872.56. Japan's Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.02 percent to close at 8,536.72. India's BSE Sensex finished at 16,862.80, up 1.17 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Crude oil futures rose 0.93 percent to $83.470 per barrel and natural gas futures edged up 0.23 percent to $2.223 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures added 0.90 percent to $1,611.2 per ounce and silver futures gained 1.04 percent to $28.915 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro gained 0.18 percent against the U.S. dollar to $1.2505. The British pound advanced 0.60 percent against the greenback to 1.5578, and the dollar inched 0.09 percent higher against the Japanese yen to 79.5100.