U.S. stocks rallied, extending the biggest two-day advance for benchmark indexes since March 2009, as the largest increase in American retail sales in four months tempered concern economic growth is slowing.
Stocks pared earlier gains as financial and phone companies declined. A gauge of retailers in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 1.1 percent, as 25 of its 30 stocks advanced, after the Commerce Department reported a 0.5 percent increase in retail sales. Caterpillar Inc. added 2.9 percent, pacing gains among companies most-tied to the economy. Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ)advanced 3.6 percent after Jefferies Group Inc. raised its recommendation for the shares.
The S&P 500 added 0.4 percent to 1,176.90 at 2:43 p.m. in New York, trimming this week’s decline to 1.9 percent. The benchmark gauge for American equities jumped 4.6 percent yesterday amid a decline in jobless claims and higher-than-estimated earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 120.30 points, or 1.1 percent, to 11,263.61 today.