Stock indexes: Biggest gains in a month

Sunday, December 5, 2010

U.S. stocks rose last week, sending benchmark indexes to their biggest gains in a month, amid improved economic data and efforts by the European central banks to stem the region's debt crisis.

Home Depot jumped 8 percent, the biggest gain in the Dow Jones industrial average, as construction spending and existing home sales topped economists' estimates. Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase advanced at least 5.6 percent after Goldman Sachs recommended financial stocks. Abercrombie & Fitch rose 16 percent.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index increased 3 percent to 1224.71 in the five days ended Dec. 3, its largest gain in four weeks. The Dow rallied 290.09 points, or 2.6 percent, to 11,382.09.

"With Europe, it appeared some of the recent flare-up on the continent was going to subside and markets reacted positively," said Mark Luschini of Janney Montgomery Scott, which oversees more than $50 billion in Philadelphia. "There are continued signs of improvement, but the economy isn't yet completely out of the woods."

The Treasury will sell $32 billion of three-year notes Tuesday, $21 billion of 10-year securities the following day and $13 billion of 30-year bonds Thursday. They yielded 0.82 percent, 3.02 percent and 4.31 percent, respectively, in when-issued trading.

The U.S. will also auction $29 billion of three- and $28 billion of six-month bills on Monday. It will also issue four-week bills Tuesday. The amount hasn't been announced.

- Bloomberg News

© 2010 The Washington Post Company