Investors are skeptical that U.S. retail spending will exceed forecasts this year, as some consumer-discretionary stock indexes have yet to reach new multiyear highs relative to their defensive counterparts.
U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its first back-to-back weekly gain since October, after European leaders agreed to boost a rescue fund and reports spurred optimism about the economy.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index erased losses in the final hour of trading as investors weighed the Federal Reserve’s latest policy minutes for evidence that the central bank may be closer to additional stimulus actions.
U.S. stocks rose, breaking a two- week slump, as industries considered the safest investments led gains after reports on home sales and jobless claims tempered optimism about the economy while earnings lifted companies from Travelers Cos. to General Electric Co.
U.S. stocks fell, pulling the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index down from a 10-week high, as weaker- than-estimated data on home sales, factory orders and consumer spending cast doubt on the economic recovery.
U.S. stocks retreated, snapping a four-day advance for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as banks fell and investors speculated that tomorrow’s jobs report will show the world’s largest economy continues to struggle.
Options protecting against losses in U.S. financial shares have fallen to the cheapest level in six months amid speculation policy makers’ stimulus measures will extend this year’s rally in bank stocks.