U.S. Stocks Rise as Exchanges Open; S&P 500 Index Gains 0.1%

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- In today's "Single Best Chart," Bloomberg's Scarlet Fu displays how we may be in for a painless deleveraging process as bond yields are lagging U.S. debt-to-GDP. She speaks on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg Surveillance."

U.S. stocks rose at the start of trading, as measured by the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, at 9:31 a.m. New York time.

The S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent to 1,436.89. There were 291 stocks that rose and 152 that fell. Apple Inc., up 0.5 percent to 528.64, led the gain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was unchanged at 13,251.97. For the year, the S&P 500 has gained 14.3 percent and the Dow has added 8.5 percent.

NYSE Euronext was the most-active U.S. stock. Trading totaled 8.4 million shares. Other actively traded shares included Bank of America Corp., Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc, Rite Aid Corp. (RAD), and Arris Group Inc..

Apple Inc. contributed the most to the S&P 500's gain, lifting its value by 0.27 point, followed by NYSE Euronext (NYX) at 0.25 point and Google Inc. at 0.11 point. Merck & Co. limited the index's gain the most, reducing its value by 0.45 point, followed by Bank of America Corp. at 0.12 point and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY) at 0.09 point.

S&P 500 futures expiring in March fell 1.10 points to 1,432.00, a premium of 1.98 points to the index's fair value. The futures are fairly valued at a discount of 6.87 to the underlying cash index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped less than 0.1 percent to 281.58. The Euro Stoxx 50 Index, a measure of shares in nations using the common currency, climbed less than 0.1 percent to 2,656.17. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed less than 0.1 percent to 129.40.

Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes fell to 1.78 percent from 1.80 percent. The Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against the euro, yen, pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc, fell 0.2 percent to 79.130.

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