U.S. stocks end two-week dry spell

U.S. stocks rose for the week, snapping two weeks of declines for benchmark indexes, as economic data topped estimates and comments by Federal Reserve officials eased concerns over stimulus plans. Home Depot jumped 4.9 percent, leading gains among the biggest U.S. companies.

The S&P 500 added 0.9 percent to 1606.28 over the five days. The index capped its biggest three-day rally since early January on June 27. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 110.20 points, or 0.7 percent, to 14,909.60. The S&P 500 declined 1.5 percent for the month, paring its advance in the second quarter to 2.4 percent and ending a streak of seven monthly advances, the longest run since September 2009.

“There was a parade of Fed speakers attempting to clarify recent comments and that helped to assuage fears that the Fed’s quantitative easing program would be scaled back,” said Quincy Krosby, a market strategist for Prudential Financial, which oversees more than $1 trillion of assets. “The market is hypersensitive to any suggestion that the Fed begins to scale back purchases. The emphasis from the Fed is that it’s data dependent.”

Central bank stimulus has helped the S&P 500 surge as much as 147 percent from its March 2009 low.

Data during the week bolstered optimism in the world’s largest economy as consumer confidence rose in June and claims for unemployment benefits fell.

The Treasury will sell $30 billion in three-month bills and $25 billion in six-month bills Monday. They yielded 0.060 percent and 0.090 percent in when-issued trading. The United States will also sell four-week bills Tuesday.

Bloomberg News

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