U.S. stocks advanced, snapping a two- day decline for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, amid investors’ optimism about fourth-quarter corporate earnings.
The S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent to 1,461.02 at 4 p.m. New York time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 61.66 points, or 0.5 percent, to 13,390.51. About 6.1 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, in line with the three-month average.
Six out of 10 groups in the S&P 500 rose today as health- care and industrial shares had the biggest gains. Telephone and utility companies retreated the most. Bets that U.S. stocks will move in unison have fallen to the lowest level in more than two years on speculation earnings season will drive investors to companies with the best results
Labour Department figures due at 8:30 a.m. in Washington will probably show new applicants for unemployment benefits fell to 365,000 last week from 372,000 the previous week, according to the mean estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists
Asian stocks climbed, with the regional benchmark index headed for its highest close in 17 months, as China’s export data topped estimates and Japanese carmakers rallied on a weaker yen.
China Cosco Holdings Co., China’s biggest shipping company, jumped 6.8 percent in Hong Kong. Mazda Motor Corp. led automakers higher, climbing 10 percent in Tokyo as Bank of America Corp. recommended buying the shares.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) rallied 0.7 percent to 131.98 as of 3:31 p.m. Tokyo time, on track for its highest close since August 2011.
European (SXXP) stock futures advancedas Chinese export data topped economists’ forecasts
Bank of England policy makers will probably refrain from adding further stimulus to the U.K. economy. Governor Mervyn King and the Monetary Policy Committee will opt to watch for further progress in the Funding for Lending Scheme and keep the target for quantitative easing at 375 billion pounds ($601 billion), said all 39 economists in a Bloomberg News survey.
Futures on the Euro Stoxx 50 Index expiring this month rose 0.2 percent to 2,704 at 7:01 a.m. in London. Contracts on the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index (UKX) gained 0.1 percent.
The yen weakened for a second day and neared a 2 1/2 year-low against the dollar after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged Bank of Japan. Governor Masaaki Shirakawa to double the central bank’s inflation goal.
The Japanese currency weakened 0.3 percent to 88.13 per dollar as of 7:14 a.m. in London from yesterday, when it fell 0.9 percent. The yen has lost 1.2 percent in the past week, the worst performance among the 10 developed-nation currencies
Thirty-year Treasuries fell, extending a January loss that almost wiped out 2012’s gain, as money managers prepared to bid at a $13 billion auction of the securities today. 30-year bonds have handed investors a 2.3 percent loss in January as of yesterday, all but canceling last year’s 2.5 percent return,
Crude for February delivery advanced as much as 43 cents to $93.53 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $93.48 at 2:39 p.m.
Brent oil for February settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange rose as much as 21 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $111.97 a barrel
Spot gold rose as much as 0.2 percent to $1,660.85 an ounce, and was at $1,660.24 at 2:57 p.m. in Singapore. Cash silver was little changed at $30.38 an ounce.