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U.S. stocks are mixed as better- than-estimated reports on housing starts and industrial production bolstered confidence in the world’s largest economy.
Equities pared gains as two euro-area officials said the European Central Bank is conducting a comprehensive review of all its policy tools and has no immediate plans to increase stimulus even as market tensions mount.
General Motors Co. climbed 3.9% as Berkshire Hathaway Inc. disclosed a stake. General Electric Co. (GE) rose 4% as its finance unit plans to pay a dividend of $4.5 billion to the parent company.
Equities gained as economic data bolstered optimism the U.S. economy can withstand fallout from the European debt crisis. Housing starts rose 2.6% to a 717,000 annual rate from March’s revised 699,000 pace that was stronger than previously reported. Industrial production climbed 1.1%, the most since December 2010.
Concern about Europe’s debt crisis sent the S&P 500 to a three-month low this week. ECB President Mario Draghi acknowledged that Greece could leave the euro area and signaled policy makers won’t compromise on their key principles to prevent an exit. Greeks will return to the ballot boxes on June 17.
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