U.S. stocks rose, giving the Standard & Poor's 500 Index its first back-to-back gain in two weeks, as Wal-Mart Stores posted better-than-expected...
U.S. stocks rose, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index its first back-to-back gain in two weeks, as Wal-Mart Stores posted better-than-expected sales and a government report showed factory orders jumped by the most in a year.
Shares of energy producers such as Exxon Mobil Corp. advanced as oil prices climbed to almost $60 a barrel. Boston Scientific Corp. rallied on a favorable patent ruling.
“One of the things we’re very excited about is the progress that corporate America is making,” said Michael Vogelzang, who oversees $5 billion as chief investment officer at Boston Advisors Inc. “Profitability is pretty good.”
The S&P 500 added 10.55, or 0.9 percent, to 1204.99, the first time it’s gained two days in a row since June 17. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 68.36, or 0.7 percent, to 10,371.80. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 21.38, or 1 percent, to 2078.75.
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Stocks also climbed as Edward Keon, chief investment strategist of Prudential Equity Group LLC, recommended investors put all their money into U.S. equities, saying they are cheap compared to bonds and real estate. He raised his allocation in U.S. stocks to 100 percent from 80 percent and cut bonds to zero from 20 percent.
Profit at S&P 500 companies increased 6.6 percent in the second quarter, based on Bloomberg’s analysis of estimates compiled by Thomson Financial. That pace will probably accelerate to 14.6 percent in the July-through-September period.
Alcoa Inc., the world’s No. 1 aluminum maker, will report second-quarter results tomorrow, the first member of the Dow average to do so.
“There’s a little bit of speculation going around that the earnings numbers should be pretty good,” which may be helping the market today, said Larry Peruzzi, senior equity trader at Boston Co.
Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer, climbed $1.52, or 3.2 percent, to $49.80 for the best advance in the Dow average. The company said July 2 that sales last month rose 4.5 percent, topping its forecast of 2 percent to 4 percent. Separately, Wal-Mart announced job and price cuts at its U.K. unit.
An index of energy shares increased 3.1 percent for its largest one-day gain since April 21.
Oil for August delivery rose 1.4 percent to $59.59 a barrel in New York as Tropical Storm Cindy in the Gulf of Mexico disrupted the arrival of shipments to the U.S. Oil touched a record $60.95 on June 27.
Energy companies’ earnings are “going to blow the doors off again, and that’s why the stocks are up so much,” said Vogelzang of Boston Advisors.
The Russell 2000 Index, which tracks companies with a median market value of $486 million, rallied 1.6 percent to 653.23. The Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index, the broadest measure of U.S. shares gained 110.62, or 0.9 percent, to 12,006.89. Based on changes in the Wilshire, the value of stocks increased by $138.3 billion.