Biggest stocks beat S&P 500 most in 13 years as P/Es fall

American Equity

The S&P 100, which accounts for about half of all American market value, plunged 53 percent from its peak in March 2000 through the bear market low in October 2002, almost 4 percentage points more than the broader index.

Stocks gained last week, with the S&P 100 climbing 1.5 percent to 614.84 and the S&P 500 adding 1.3 percent to 1,342.84 for the second straight advance. The 100-stock index fell 0.3 percent to 612.92 at 9:58 a.m. New York time today, and the S&P 500 declined 0.3 percent to 1,338.57.

Investors bought shares last week on speculation central banks will take action to stimulate global growth should Europe’s debt crisis spread and before Greek voters prepared for elections that could determine if the nation stays in the euro. Greek election winner Antonis Samaras raced to build a coalition to keep bailout aid flowing after key rival, anti-bailout party Syriza, rejected his offer to join a government.

Higher Forecasts

American shares have rallied as profits beat analyst estimates and forecasts for economic expansion in 2012 rose to 2.2 percent from 2.1 in January, according to the median forecast in a survey of 93 economists. While U.S. shares rose, the Stoxx Europe 600 has slipped 0.1 percent this year and Spain’s IBEX 35 Index is down 22 percent.

The S&P 500 has climbed 22 percent since reaching a one- year low in October and is up 6.8 percent for 2012. It has fallen 5.4 percent since reaching a four-year high of 1,419.04 on April 2. The gauge fell 2.5 percent on June 1 after a disappointing report on American joblessness.

The U.S. added the fewest workers in a year to payrolls last month and the unemployment rate rose, according to the June 1 report from the Labor Department. The Citigroup Economic Surprise Index, which plots U.S. economic data against projections in Bloomberg surveys, dropped to minus 60.6 this month, indicating more economic reports are falling short.

Romney called Obama “detached and out of touch with the American people” after the president said during a White House news conference this month that the private sector was doing fine. Obama later clarified the remark to say it is “absolutely clear” that the economy is struggling.

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