U.S. stocks fell, following the longest rally for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since 2004, as a drop in pending home sales overshadowed a rise in durable- goods orders while investors watched earnings.
U.S. stocks dropped on concern European leaders weren’t making progress in solving the region’s debt crisis. Gold rallied, the dollar fell to a two-month low and Treasury yields touched the lowest in more than a week amid speculation the Federal Reserve will add to monetary stimulus.
The biggest decline in Japanese stocks in two years pushed valuations below levels in November, when a 19 percent rally began, luring investors who say equities will prove bargains as the country rebuilds from its largest earthquake on record.
U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher for a third week, as optimism over better-than-estimated jobs data overshadowed a drop in consumer confidence amid continuing budget talks.