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U.S. Stocks Gain for Week on Earnings, Stimulus Optimism

U.S. stocks rose for the week, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rebounding from the biggest drop since November, as companies beat earnings estimates amid speculation central bank stimulus will continue. The S&P 500 (SPX) fell on the final day as data showed the U.S. economy grew less than forecast in the first quarter. United Parcel Service Inc. and Boeing (BA) Co. climbed more than 3.2 percent for the week after posting results. Apple Inc. rose 6.8 percent after boosting its dividend and share-buyback plan. DuPont Co. and Halliburton Co. jumped at least 7.5 percent, driving commodity shares to the biggest gain among 10 S&P 500 groups . The S&P 500 rose 1.7 percent to 1,582.24 over the five days, after tumbling 2.1 percent in the previous week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 165.04 points, or 1.1 percent, to 14,712.55.

The S&P 500 is up 0.8 percent in April, poised for a sixth straight monthly gain, the longest stretch since September 2009. “We see a big pivot in markets to go from safe to cyclical,” John Augustine, who helps manage $27 billion as chief market strategist at Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp, said by phone. “Earnings were OK. Now market attention is focusing on stimulus, which they believe is coming in Europe .” Global stocks rallied during the week as speculation mounted that the European Central Bank will cut rates when it meets on May 2. U.S. gross domestic product rose at a 2.5 percent rate in the first quarter, below economists’ estimates for a 3 percent gain. The economy’s inability to sustain faster growth means Federal Reserve policy makers will probably affirm a pledge to keep buying bonds after their May 1 meeting. Economic Reports Other economic reports in the week showed demand for durable goods slumped […]



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