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02.04.2012 17:23

U.S. stocks rose

 

U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index toward an almost four-year high, on stronger-than-forecast growth in manufacturing.

Manufacturing in the U.S. expanded at a faster pace than forecast in March, a sign that the industry is weathering slower global growth. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 53.4 in March from 52.4 a month earlier, the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s data showed. Fifty is the dividing line between growth and contraction. Economists projected the gauge would climb to 53.

A separate report showed construction spending decreased 1.1 percent in February, compared with the median economist forecast for growth of 0.6 percent.

Dow 13,282.42     +70.38 +0.53%, Nasdaq      3,117.29       +25.72 +0.83%, S&P 500   1,420.26         +11.79 +0.84%

Commodity shares rose the most among 10 groups in the S&P 500. Freeport-McMoRan jumped 2.6 percent to $39.04. Alpha Natural, a coal producer, rallied 3.6 percent to $15.76. Alcoa Inc. (AA) added 1.6 percent to $10.18, while Chevron Corp. (CVX) increased 1.1 percent to $108.37.

Financial shares climbed 0.9 percent as a group in the S&P 500. Bank of America (ВАС) added 1.6 percent to $9.72, while Morgan Stanley increased 1.5 percent to $19.94.

Avon surged 13 percent, the most since 2008, to $21.94. Coty said it has submitted a non-binding proposal to acquire the company for $23.25 a share in cash. The purchase price represents a premium of about 27 percent over the three-month average weighted price for Avon shares, Coty said.

Groupon Inc. tumbled 11 percent to $16.29 after the largest provider of daily deals online reported a “material weakness” in its financial controls and said fourth-quarter revenue was lower than it had stated because of higher refunds to merchants.

Amazon.com Inc. fell 1.9 percent to $198.61. The largest Internet retailer was cut to neutral from buy at Bank of America Corp. on concern analysts’ earnings expectations are too high.

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