U.S. stocks rose to fresh records and the dollar strengthened as retailer results boosted confidence in the American consumers’ ability to jump start economic growth. Oil sank from a five-week high after OPEC extended plans to limit production without deepening the cuts.
The S&P 500 Index pushed its longest rally since February to six days as Best Buy Co. and PVH Corp. results topped estimates and the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index signaled optimism among U.S. shoppers. The dollar steadied in the wake of Federal Reserve minutes showing officials unperturbed by recent signs of slower economic growth. U.S. crude lost more than 4 percent to slide below $50. China’s yuan strengthened the most in four months.
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The latest earnings reports bolstered a retail group that’s been hit by struggles at mall-based stores and signs that wages haven’t been rising fast enough to spark a meaningful surge in spending. They added to risk appetite after Fed policy makers indicated recent weakness in growth is transitory. The bullish sentiment was limited among stock investors in Europe, where some markets were closed today for the Ascension holiday.
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And here are the main movers:
- The S&P 500 rose 0.4 percent to a record 2,415 at 4 p.m. in New York. It’s rallied more than 2.5 percent in the past six sessions.
- The Nasdaq Composite and Nasdaq 100 indexes also closed at records, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4 percent to end 0.2 percent short of its March 1 high.
- Best Buy surged 22 percent, the most since 2001, and PVH jumped 4.9 percent to pace gains in retailers. Railroad operators also rallied, leading transportation shares higher.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to 21,085 as it bears down on its March 1 closing record.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 ended little changed, while emerging-market equities rallied 0.7 percent.
- West Texas Intermediate crude sank 4.8 percent to settle at $48.90 a barrel in New York, after touching the highest level in more than a month.
- Gold futures rose 0.3 percent to $1,259.70 an ounce.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index edged higher after earlier touching the lowest level since November.
- The euro was virtually unchanged at $1.1218. The British pound fell 0.1 percent to $1.2960.
- The yield on 10-year Treasury notes was little changed at 2.25 percent after losing three basis points on Wednesday.
- German 10-year yields fell four basis points to 0.362 percent.
- Japan’s sovereign yield curve bear-steepened after the nation’s auction of 40-year bond sale met weaker-than-expected demand.