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U.S. stocks advanced, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index above 1,400 for the first time in almost four years, as manufacturing in the New York region unexpectedly increased and jobless claims declined.
Equities rose as manufacturing in the New York region expanded in March at the fastest pace since June 2010. Claims for jobless benefits fell last week, matching the lowest level in four years, more evidence the labor market is improving. Separate data showed that the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s general economic index increased to 12.5 in March from 10.2 last month, beating economists’ estimates.
Dow 13,225.70 +31.60 +0.24%, Nasdaq 3,049.96 +9.23 +0.30%, S&P 500 1,400.20 +5.92 +0.42%
Bank of America (ВАС) gained 3.4 percent to $9.14. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) increased 2.8 percent to $44.78. GE added 1.9 percent to $20.17.
Technology shares rallied as IBM (IBM) advanced to a new record, adding 0.6 percent to $205.97. Apple rose 0.2 percent to $590.96 after climbing above $600 for the first time. The world’s largest technology company had its share price estimate lifted to $718 from $670 at Piper Jaffray Cos.
Scholastic Corp. surged 13 percent to $36.52. The children’s book publisher boosted its full-year forecast, saying it now expects to earn at least $2.60 a share from continuing operations. The company had projected $2.10 at most.
EBay Inc. slumped 1.9 percent to $36.92. The largest Internet marketplace was downgraded to neutral from outperform at Credit Suisse Group AG.
Guess? Inc. tumbled 11 percent, the most in the Russell 1000 Index, to $32.50. The clothing retailer forecast fiscal 2013 earnings of no more than $2.65 a share, below the average analyst estimate of $3.16 a share.
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