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U.S. stocks rose, after a two-day drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, amid better-than- estimated economic data and optimism on Greece bailout efforts.
Stocks rose as a report showed that manufacturing in the Philadelphia region expanded in February at the fastest pace in four months as new orders and sales picked up. Claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly dropped last week to the lowest level in four years. Builders broke ground on more homes than forecast in January, helped by warmer weather and adding to signs the U.S. residential real estate market is stabilizing.
Stock extended gains as Germany’s Die Welt newspaper reported that the European Central Bank is swapping its 50 billion euro Greek government bond holdings for new Greek bonds, citing unidentified central bank officials.
Dow 12,880.32 +99.37 +0.78%, Nasdaq 2,945.39 +29.56 +1.01%, S&P 500 1,354.14 +10.91 +0.81%
Bank of America (ВАС) added 3 percent to $8.01.
Microsoft (MSFT), the world’s largest software maker, gained 3 percent to $30.95.
GM surged 6.7 percent to $26.60. North America earnings before interest and taxes more than tripled for the year to $7.19 billion. The automaker’s Europe business, including the Opel brand, lost $747 million for the year.
NetApp rallied 5.2 percent to $42.97. The maker of data- storage products said revenue in the third quarter was $1.57 billion, above the average analyst estimate of $1.56 billion. The company said it won a record number of new customers and significantly increased the amount of units shipped.
Amazon.com Inc. sank 3.7 percent to $177.71. The shares fell after Scott Devitt, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, cut the rating to “equal-weight,” meaning the total return is expected to be in line with the average total return of the analyst’s industry or industry team’s coverage universe, on a risk- adjusted basis, over the next 12-18 months.
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