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U.S. stocks climbed, following yesterday’s slump in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as better- than-estimated data on housing starts added to expectations the world’s largest economy will weather Europe’s debt crisis. Stocks rose today after a Commerce Department report showed that housing starts increased 9.3 percent to a 685,000 annual rate, exceeding the highest estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and the highest level since April 2010. Building permits, a proxy for future construction, also climbed to a more than one-year high.
Dow 12,038.19 +271.93 +2.31%, Nasdaq 2,593.81 +70.67 +2.80%, S&P 500 1,234.82 +29.47 +2.44%
Financial companies rebounded today. JPMorgan advanced 3.4 percent to $31.75. The shares lost 3.7 percent yesterday. Bank of America, which yesterday ended at the lowest level since March 2009, gained 2.7 percent to $5.12.
Jefferies rallied 18 percent to $13.90. The investment bank that’s been fighting speculation about its financial strength rose after fiscal fourth-quarter profit beat estimates on a recovery in fixed-income trading. Jefferies may not have to raise more equity after reducing assets on its balance sheet, Sean Egan of Egan-Jones Ratings Co. said today on CNBC.
Sprint Nextel jumped 2.3 percent to $2.21. AT&T failed to convince the Justice Department, which sued to block the transaction in August, that it could remedy the market impact of absorbing T-Mobile, the nation’s No. 4 mobile-phone operator. AT&T would have spent months in litigation to try to win court approval, and the company also faced possible opposition from the Federal Communications Commission. AT&T (T) gained 1.2 percent to $29.07.
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