Stocks advance amid corporate earnings optimism while yen falls

Stocks rose, snapping a two-day slide, amid optimism that U.S. corporate earnings will extend a third straight year of growth. The yen weakened on speculation the Bank of Japan will expand stimulus.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.3% to 1,460.95 as of 4 p.m. in New York and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed at the highest in more than 22 months. The VIX, the benchmark gauge of U.S. stock options, rebounded after dipping beneath its lowest closing level in five years. The yen weakened against all 16 major peers. Ten-year Treasury yields decreased for a fourth straight day.

Seagate Technology Plc. and Danaher Corp. paced gains in the S&P 500 after saying quarterly results will top forecasts. Fourth-quarter profit at companies in the S&P 500 probably increased 2.9%, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg, extending a three-year expansion while marking the second-slowest quarterly growth since 2009.

“This is what can happen when investors are able to focus on earnings and not politicians,” Brian Jacobsen, who helps oversee about $212 billion as chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Advantage Funds, said in an interview in New York.

The S&P 500 fell for a second day yesterday after finishing last week at a five-year high. Industrial, health-care and raw- material shares helped lead gains in the 10 main industry groups in the S&P 500 today. Trading volume was about almost 10% higher than the 30-day average at this time of day.

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Seagate Technology jumped after sales rose to at least $3.6 billion in the fiscal second quarter, exceeding an earlier forecast for $3.5 billion as the company maintained share in the computer hard-drive market. Danaher advanced after the maker of microscopes and water-treatment systems said earnings will exceed its forecast range.

Boeing Co. led the Dow Jones Industrial Average higher, rebounding from a 4.6% plunge over the previous two sessions after a fire aboard its 787 Dreamliner. Qatar Airways Ltd., one of the biggest customers for the new jet, said heightened scrutiny of the model won’t damp the carrier’s purchase plans. MasterCard Inc., the second-biggest U.S. payments network, rose after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its rating. Apollo Group Inc., the biggest U.S. for-profit college, slid after net income slid on a drop in new enrollment.

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