China Drives Financial Markets Up

U.S. financial markets are getting a healthy boost today on rumors that China’s gross domestic product in the first quarter increased more than economists had anticipated.

China is set to officially release its GDP data early tomorrow, but rumors are already swirling that the number is close to 9% – higher than the 8.3% analysts were expecting. The rumors have been enough to continue yesterday’s rally among U.S. financial markets.

The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq are all up over 1% on Thursday. That builds on yesterday’s bounce-back, a reversal brought on by a promising start to earnings season after five straight down days for U.S. stocks.

China’s Shanghai Composite index climbed 1.8% amid rumors of the country’s higher-than-expected GDP growth.

Tomorrow should be another turning point for the financial markets. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) both report earnings in the morning, which should give investors an idea of how financials – a key ingredient in this year’s rally – fared in the first quarter.

Strong earnings from those two big banks could be enough to extend this market rebound to a third day.

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