Groundbreaking for new homes also increased but remained well below the post-recession peak hit in November, signaling the drag the housing market is placing on the economy. Output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities rose 0.7 percent last month after an upwardly revised gain of 1.2 percent in February, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday. Economists had expected industrial production to rise 0.5 percent.
By Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose for a third straight session on Wednesday after China's economic growth exceeded expectations and Yahoo shares rallied on the strength of revenue growth in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, in which it has a stake. China, the world's second-largest economy, grew at its slowest pace in 18 months at the start of 2014, but the rise was better than expected and showed some improvement in March. The global economy should grow steadily at best over the coming year, a Reuters poll showed, but any rapid slowdown in China could upset the progress. "We think that is influencing the market today." Yahoo was the leading percentage gainer on the S&P 500 as revenue growth accelerated in the last quarter of 2013 for Alibaba , in which Yahoo holds a 24 percent stake.
The world economy can expect steady growth at best over the coming year, but any rapid slowdown in China as it tries to rebalance its economy could upset the still-unsteady progress, Reuters polls showed. Growth in the United States, the world's largest economy, looks set to outpace its peers, with Japan and the euro zone still lagging and emerging markets - particularly Latin America - in for a challenging year. The poll results suggest that exuberance in financial markets, especially stock markets, may have been overdone in the past few years on expectations for a robust pick-up in global growth. With a few notable exceptions like Britain, developed economies are also showing scant evidence of an imminent and significant improvement in hiring, particularly so in the euro zone and the United States.
Yahoo Inc's shares rose as much as 9 percent in heavy trading on Wednesday, a day after Chinese internet company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, in which it holds a 24 percent stake, reported a surge in quarterly revenue. At least nine brokerages raised their price targets on Yahoo's shares ahead of Alibaba's IPO filing, expected next week. "We continue to recommend aggressive purchase of (Yahoo's) shares ahead of the Alibaba IPO," Topeka Capital Markets analyst Victor Anthony said in a note. The IPO is set to be the largest in the United States since Facebook Inc's 2012 market debut and it is the most awaited IPO in what's expected to be a record year for U.S. tech debuts after Twitter Inc's successful IPO in 2013.