By Herbert Lash NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global equity markets edged higher on Wednesday as a backdrop of solid corporate earnings buoyed risk appetite, but worries over the Middle East and Ukraine kept demand strong for safe-haven assets such as bonds. MSCI's all-country world index rose 0.21 percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 rose 0.14 percent to close at 1,375.69.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes were mostly higher in afternoon trading Wednesday as investors weighed positive earnings from the technology industry against disappointing news from Boeing and other companies. Biotechnology stocks were among the biggest gainers.
Whirlpool Corp on Wednesday posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit and cut its full-year earnings outlook, citing a sales drop triggered by its pending acquisition of a Chinese rival. The U.S. appliance maker said its sales in China plummeted 80 percent last quarter as retailers in that country, anticipating its pending merger with Hefei Rongshida Sanyo Electric Co and the new line the merged entity will produce, stopped buying Whirlpool-branded products. "Trade partners are liquidating their old inventory and getting ready for the new inventory, which will come from the combined company," Whirlpool CEO Jeff Fettig told Reuters in an interview. Whirlpool and Hefei Sanyo can't officially merge until Chinese regulators sign off on the deal -- a process that Fettig said is taking longer than anyone expected and may drag on through the end of 2014.
European stock markets inched higher Wednesday supported by upbeat earnings, as investors paused for breath after the previous day's strong gains amid ongoing concern about the fallout from Ukraine.