U.S. Stocks Rise

U.S. stocks advanced for a second day as sales of existing homes unexpectedly increased and a manufacturing gauge topped economists’ estimates, bolstering optimism that the worst of the recession is over.

D.R. Horton Inc. led gains in 12 of 13 shares in an index of homebuilders as the National Association of Realtors reported a 2.1 percent gain in pending home resales in February. Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. added at least 5.8 percent after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said there are signs that financial markets are recovering.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 1.7 percent to 811.08, a day after capping its best monthly rally since 2002. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 152.68 points, or 2 percent, to 7,761.6. The MSCI World Index of 23 developed nations added 1.6 percent, with Ireland and Denmark posting gains of more than 4 percent to lead the advance.

U.S. stocks rose yesterday, giving the S&P 500 an 8.5 percent advance in March, as investors bought the month’s best- performing companies. The S&P 500 has climbed 20 percent since March 9, trimming its 2009 decline to 10 percent, as banks from Citigroup to JPMorgan Chase & Co. said they made money in the first two months of 2009 and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner unveiled plans to rid financial firms of toxic assets.

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
4/1/2009 1:32:39 PM