U.S. stocks, commodities rise on economic data; Treasuries fall

U.S. stocks rose and copper helped lead gains in commodities after reports showed American durable- goods orders and home prices increased more than forecast. Treasuries fell while Italian and Spanish bonds gained.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 0.6% at 10:13 a.m. in New York while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.3%. Copper and oil gained at least 0.6%. Italy’s 10-year bond yield slid seven basis points to 4.54% and Spain’s dropped five basis points to 4.91%, while the rate on U.S. Treasuries increased one point to 1.93%. The euro was up 0.1% at $1.2866.

Bookings for U.S. goods meant to last at least three years rose 5.7%, the most since September, the Commerce Department said, while the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices increased by the most since 2006. The data overshadowed bigger- than-forecast declines in consumer confidence and sales of new homes.

“The overall trend continues to show improvement for the U.S. despite some of the fiscal challenges,” Henk Potts, who helps oversee $282 billion as an equity strategist at Barclays Plc in London, said in a phone interview. “Markets don’t go up in a straight line, and there is potential for pullbacks, but we still believe the fundamentals are very supportive.”

Durable Goods

The S&P 500 rebounded from yesterday’s 0.3% decline, triggered after the bailout of Cyprus spurred concern bank deposits in other euro-area nations may be subject to levies to pay for rescues in the future.

Homebuilders climbed after the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities increased 8.1% in January from the same month in 2012, exceeding the 7.9% median forecast by economists in a Bloomberg survey.

Another report showed the Conference Board’s index declined to 59.7 from a revised three-month high of 68 in February. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected the March measure would fall to 67.5. New-home sales declined 4.6%, worse than the 3.9% median estimate.

Gains in European stocks were led by financial and construction stocks. A gauge of telecommunications companies dropped as Telefonica SA slipped 4.8% when trading resumed after a suspension. The Spanish mobile-phone operator is selling 990 million euros of treasury stock to reduce its debt. Telecom Italia SpA dropped 3.6% as Barclays Plc and Bank of America Corp. downgraded the stock.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads the group of euro-area finance ministers, said in a statement yesterday aid programs are “tailor-made,” after earlier indicating the Cypriot bank- recapitalization plan may be replicated elsewhere.

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