Stocks advance as US Dollar Index extends longest rally ever

Homebuilders Rally

A measure of homebuilders in S&P indexes jumped 3.5 percent. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence rose to 29, the highest since May 2007, a report from the Washington-based group showed today. The gauge exceeded the highest projection in a Bloomberg News survey in which the median estimate was 26. Lennar Corp. gained 4.9 percent and D.R. Horton Inc. rose 4.5 percent.

Facebook Inc. boosted the price range on its initial public offering to seek as much as $12.8 billion. The new range is $34 to $38 a share, a regulatory filing today shows, implying a market value of as much as $104.2 billion.

The S&P 500 yesterday slid to the lowest level since Feb. 2, extending its drop from a four-year high in April to 5.7 percent. The index took longer than usual to fall 5 percent from its peak this year, a sign that any further retreat in U.S. stocks will be “contained,” according to Sam Stovall of S&P.

Retreat From Peak

The benchmark gauge reached the threshold yesterday after spending 28 days without losing 5 percent from its April high. Since 1950, it has taken an average 19 days to fall 5 percent, based on a study by Stovall, S&P’s chief equity strategist. Among those that took 28 days or longer to occur, only 25 percent turned into corrections, or retreats of more than 10 percent, the data show. Stovall said in an e-mail that he views losses of less than 5 percent as “noise” and declines between 5 percent and 10 percent as pullbacks.

The S&P GSCI Index of commodities rose 0.2 percent after falling for nine straight days, its longest slump since December 2008. Wheat, corn and hogs rallied more than 1.5 percent to lead gains in 18 of 24 materials. Crude oil slipped 0.3 percent to $94.52 a barrel after yesterday settling at the lowest price of the year.

The euro weakened 0.4 percent to $1.2769 after strengthening as much as 0.4 percent. The shared currency fell against 10 of 16 major peers, with Australia’s dollar and Brazil’s real gaining more than 0.5 percent. The German bund yield rose one basis point to 1.47 percent after reaching a record low yesterday.

Commodity companies and banks fell more than 1.7 percent to lead declines among 16 of 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index lost 0.5 percent. India’s Sensex Index rose 0.7 percent and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland stocks jumped 1 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.3 percent after a report showed foreign direct investment dropped. The Philippine Stock Exchange Index sank 2.1 percent on concern a territorial dispute with China will escalate.

Bloomberg News

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