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28.11.2011 17:45

U.S. stocks rose

U.S. stocks rose, snapping a seven- day decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, after Thanksgiving retail sales climbed to a record and euro-area leaders were said to boost efforts to end the debt crisis.

U.S. retail sales during the Thanksgiving weekend increased 16 percent to $52.4 billion, the National Retail Federation said, citing a survey conducted by BIGresearch. The average shopper spent $398.62, up from $365.34 a year earlier. Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, grew at a 2.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the fastest pace in 2011, the Commerce Department said Nov. 22.

U.S. stocks maintained gains after a report showing fewer new homes were purchased in October than forecast. Sales increased 1.3 percent to a 307,000 annual pace, data from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 70 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a 315,000 rate.

In Europe, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are discussing an agreement under which member states will commit to tighter budget discipline without waiting for treaty changes. The newspaper did not say where it got the information.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble called for fast- track treaty changes to tighten budget discipline among member states of the euro area. He spoke in an interview with ARD television in Berlin yesterday. The European Financial Stability Facility may insure the bonds of debt-stricken countries with guarantees of 20 percent to 30 percent of each issue, depending on market circumstances, according to EFSF guidelines that finance ministers will discuss this week. Euro-area finance ministers meet in Brussels on Nov. 29 as governments bid to regain the confidence of financial markets.

on record Black Friday sales of its Kindle products.

The increased severity of the debt crisis is threatening the credit standing of the region’s countries, Moody’s Investors Service said in a report today. More than $1.2 trillion has been erased from U.S. stocks since Nov. 15 on mounting concern that the crisis will spread and American policy makers failed to reach agreement on reducing the federal budget.

Dow 11,534.06 +302.28 +2.69%, Nasdaq 2,528.05 +86.54 +3.54%, S&P 500 1,193.96 +35.29 +3.05%

JPMorgan jumped 4.2 percent to $29.68, while Bank of America (BAC) advanced 3.8 percent to $5.37. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. surged 3.1 percent to $91.54. A gauge of European banking shares climbed 5.2 percent, among the best performances in the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Energy and raw-material producers rallied at least 4 percent, the most among 10 groups in the S&P 500, as crude oil rose above $100 a barrel for the first time in more than a week on signs of economic recovery in the U.S., while sanctions on Syria stoked concern Middle East crude supplies may be threatened.

Alcoa gained 5.3 percent to $9.42. The largest U.S. aluminum producer rose the most in the Dow as copper, lead, nickel and zinc advanced on the London Metal Exchange. Freeport- McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., the world’s biggest publicly traded copper producer, surged 6.3 percent to $35.96. Molycorp Inc. climbed 6.2 percent to $28.65.

Suncor Energy Inc. gained 4.1 percent to $28.17. Marathon Oil Corp. increased 6.2 percent to $26.18. Halliburton Co. (HAL) advanced 3.9 percent to $33.04.

Companies most-tied to the economy rose, sending the Morgan Stanley Cyclical Index up 4 percent after a 6.2 percent decline last week. Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), the world’s largest construction and mining-equipment maker, increased 5 percent to $91.06.

AT&T climbed 1.9 percent to $27.92. The company, which faces regulatory opposition to its takeover of T-Mobile USA, is preparing its biggest antitrust remedy proposal to salvage the deal, according to a person familiar with the plan. AT&T may offer to divest a significantly larger portion of assets than it had planned. That could be as much as 40 percent of T-Mobile USA’s assets, the person said. rose 5.8 percent to $192.88. The world’s largest Internet retailer said it sold four times more Kindle products on Black Friday compared with last year.

Genworth Financial Inc. posted the biggest gain in the S&P 500, climbing 13 percent to $6.08. Citigroup Inc. upgraded the insurer for the second time this month on the prospect that the company can withstand mortgage-related losses.

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