May 15 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks rose, with benchmark indexes rebounding from three-month lows, as growth in New York manufacturing bolstered optimism in the economy. The Dollar Index extended its longest rally ever as European equities slid after talks to form a new Greek government failed.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index increased 0.2 percent to 1,342.6 at 12:56 p.m. in New York after falling 0.2 percent earlier. The Dollar Index, a gauge of the currency against six major peers, rose for the 12th straight day. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.7 percent to close at the lowest level of the year. Ten-year U.S. Treasury yields added two basis points to 1.78 percent. Spanish and Italian 10-year yields rose at least 12 basis points.
U.S. equities gained as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s economic index topped estimates and another report showed confidence among homebuilders climbed to a five-year high. A second Greek election threatens to extend the political gridlock that left the country without a government since the last vote on May 6, fueling concern the nation will exit the euro.
“Respectable economic data can at least provide some floor to the market in an environment where you have a resurfacing headwind in Europe,” said David Sowerby, a Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based portfolio manager at Loomis Sayles & Co., which oversees about $170 billion. “The Empire manufacturing was a meaningfully better number. Germany is still the poster child for what’s being done right in Europe.”
The New York Fed’s general economic gauge, known as the Empire manufacturing index, increased to 17.09 this month from 6.6 in April, topping the median economist estimate for a reading of 9. Gross domestic product in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, rose 0.5 percent from the fourth quarter, compared to a 0.1 percent gain forecast by economists, while growth in the euro area stagnated, reports showed today.
Consumer-discretionary, financial and technology companies led gains among the 10 main industry groups in the S&P 500, while energy and utility companies fell the most. JPMorgan Chase & Co., United Technologies Corp. and Bank of America Corp. rose at least 1.2 percent for the biggest gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
JPMorgan rallied 3.6 percent after falling 12 percent in the previous two sessions, its biggest drop in three years. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, responding to shareholders at the company’s annual meeting after disclosing a $2 billion trading loss last week, said he sees no reason the bank’s dividend would be affected. The Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have begun a criminal probe of the loss, a person familiar with the matter said.
Groupon Inc. surged 12 percent after the largest daily-deal website reported first-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates.
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.