S&P 500 climbs to record on optimism over stimulus, earnings

Banks, Chipmakers

The KBW Bank Index climbed 1.4%, with 23 of its 24 members advancing. Citigroup added 2.7% to $45.06 while JPMorgan gained 1.2% to $49.25. JPMorgan and Wells Fargo & Co. are scheduled to report earnings on April 12.

The S&P 500 Information Technology Index soared 1.8% to the highest level since Oct. 17. The Nasdaq Composite Index surged the most since Jan. 2.

Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, rallied 2.3% to $22.26. Micron jumped 5.4% to $10.09. Sales in the chip industry will grow 4% this year, after falling 2 to 3% in 2012, said Morris Chang, chief executive officer at Taiwan Semiconductor, the world’s largest contract producer of chips.

Pfizer Inc., the world’s biggest drugmaker, climbed 2.8% to $29.92. The Food and Drug Administration assigned the company’s palbociclib compound a breakthrough designation under a new regulation that’s aimed to expedite the development and review of drugs that may demonstrate substantial improvements in treatment for serious diseases, Pfizer said.

Facebook Inc. gained 3.7% to $27.57. General Motors Co. said it will test advertisements on the world’s largest social-network service a year after the automaker quit running marketing messages on Facebook’s website.

Health Management Associates Inc., the operator of acute- care hospitals, plunged 16% to $10.53 after it reduced the high end of its 2013 earnings forecast.

Other hospital stocks also fell. Community Health Systems Inc. lost 3.8% to $42.26. Tenet Healthcare Corp. slipped 5.5% to $41.14. Deutsche Bank AG cut the three stocks to hold from buy.

Bloomberg News

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