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U.S. stocks were little changed, following a rally that drove the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to the highest level since 2008, as confidence among American consumers in March held close to the highest level in a year.
Equities were little changed today after yesterday erasing last week’s loss. The index rose 3.7 percent in March through yesterday, poised for a fourth straight monthly gain, the longest winning streak since 2009. It trades for 14.6 times reported earnings, the highest valuation level since July while still below the average since 1954 of 16.4.
The Conference Board’s confidence index dropped to 70.2 from a revised 71.6 reading in February that was higher than initially reported. The S&P/Case- Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 3.8 percent from a year earlier, after decreasing 4.1 percent in December.
Dow 13,243.33 +1.70 +0.01%, Nasdaq 3,130.49 +7.92 +0.25%, S&P 500 1,417.04 +0.53 +0.04%
All 11 stocks in a measure of homebuilders in S&P indexes gained. Lennar rallied 4.7 percent to $27.64. Net income for the three months ended Feb. 29 fell to $15 million, or 8 cents a share, from $27.4 million, or 14 cents, a year earlier. Lennar was expected to earn about 5 cents a share, the average estimate of 20 analysts.
Bank of America (ВАС) dropped 1.7 percent to $9.76 after being downgraded to neutral at Robert W. Baird. The 12-month share- price estimate is $10.
Apollo Group slumped 7.9 percent to $39.81. Co-Chief Executive Officer Gregory Cappelli told investors in a conference call that new enrollments will continue to be “volatile.” Credit Suisse Group AG cut its recommendation for the shares to neutral.
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