S&P 500 Extends Gain as Confidence, Home Sales Exceed Forecasts

S&P 500 Extends Gain as Confidence, Home Sales Exceed Forecasts
Traders view a computer monitor while working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

U.S. stocks extended gains after data on consumer confidence and new home sales topped forecasts, bolstering optimism in the world’s largest economy.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index increased 0.7 percent to 1,497.72 at 10:03 a.m. in New York, rebounding from yesterday’s 1.8 percent slump.

The Conference Board’s index climbed to 69.6, exceeding all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists, from a revised 58.4 in January, data from the New York-based private research group showed today. It was the first improvement in four months and the biggest since November 2011.

Purchases of new homes in the U.S. jumped in January to the highest level since July 2008, showing the industry will keep adding to growth in the economy. Sales, tabulated when contracts are signed, surged 15.6 percent to a 437,000 annual pace, exceeding the highest forecast in a Bloomberg survey and following a 378,000 rate in the prior month, figures from the Commerce Department showed. The median estimate of 72 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a rise to 380,000. Prices climbed.

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