U.S. stocks erase losses as economic data offset spending cuts

Record Highs

The S&P 500, which is trading at about 4% below its record, has gained 6.1% this year as lawmakers agreed on a compromise on taxes and amid better-than-estimated earnings. The benchmark index rose 1.1% in February, capping a four-month rally, the longest stretch since September. The Dow is about 1% from its record high reached in October 2007. Citigroup slid 1.9% to $41.17.

Raw-material companies retreated. Freeport-McMoRan fell 1.2% to $31.53 as copper and aluminum sank to three-month lows after the manufacturing report out of China, the biggest industrial metals user.

Groupon Gains

Groupon advanced 5.8% to $4.79. The daily-deals company ousted Andrew Mason as chief executive officer a day after reporting results that disappointed investors. Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis will oversee the company as it seeks a successor.

Deckers Outdoor Corp. jumped 12% to $45.17 after the owner of the Ugg brand forecast a gain of about 7% in 2013 revenue that exceeded analysts estimates.

Gap Inc. rose 2.8% to $33.85. The biggest U.S. specialty-apparel retailer posted fourth-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates, fueled by its best holiday shopping season in six years.

Bloomberg News

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