U.S. stocks climb to four-year high as euro, commodities advance

Stocks rose, sending U.S. benchmark indexes above their highest closing levels in more than four years, the euro gained and commodities headed for a bull market amid speculation leaders will make progress on Greece’s debt crisis. Irish benchmark yields reached the lowest since 2010.

The S&P 500 climbed 0.2 percent to 1,420.24 at 11:46 a.m. in New York, its highest level since May 2008, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average traded above its best closing level since December 2007. The euro appreciated 1 percent to $1.2469 and Ireland’s nine-year bond yield fell as low as 5.96 percent. Germany’s two-year yield rose above zero for the first time in more than five weeks. The S&P GSCI gauge of raw materials climbed 1.1 percent as soybeans reached a record.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the euro group of finance ministers, visits Greece tomorrow. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande meet in Berlin on Aug. 23, before holding separate talks with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras later in the week. International creditors may adjust the interest on Greek bailout loans, Norbert Barthle, a senior lawmaker of Merkel’s party, was quoted as saying by the Passauer Neue Presse.

“The odds have increased that the Europeans will craft some kind of devil’s bargain,” Michael Shaoul, chairman of Marketfield Asset Management, which oversees about $2.7 billion in New York, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “At the same time that that’s going on, U.S. economic data’s been a lot better.”

Market Leaders

The S&P 500 has rebounded almost 11 percent from a five- month low in June as gauges of energy, technology and financial companies climbed more than 12 percent to lead the advance. The index remains about 9 percent below its record high of 1,565.15 reached in October 2007.

Urban Outfitters Inc. rallied 18 percent today after posting second-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates as sales gained at all of its main brands. Nordson Corp., which makes equipment used to apply adhesives and sealants in manufacturing, gained 13 percent after forecasting fourth- quarter profit that exceeded projections.

Best Buy Co. tumbled 4.2 percent and reached a nine-year low after reporting profit that trailed estimates and suspending its earnings forecast as sales of computers and televisions dropped.

Traders also awaited policy clues from the Federal Reserve. Minutes of the central bank’s last meeting will be released tomorrow, and the Fed will hold a summit at the end of the month in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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