U.S. stocks rise on global data, jobless claims amid Nasdaq halt

Fluctuations

The Fed has said it plans to keep benchmark interest rates near zero at least as long as the unemployment rate is above 6.5% and inflation is no more than 2.5%.

Speculation about the stimulus has whipsawed stocks since May, when the Fed first indicated cuts could start this year. The S&P 500 tumbled 5.8% from a record high on May 21 through June 24. It then rebounded as much as 8.7% to close at its latest record of 1,709.67 on Aug. 2. The index finished yesterday 3.9% below the all-time high.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, or VIX, dropped 7.3% to 14.77 today, after jumping yesterday to the highest since July 3. The equity volatility gauge has retreated 18% this year as the S&P 500 has rallied 16% on growing signs economic growth is improving.

Data today showed the Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators increased 0.6% in July. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 0.5% advance.

Overseas Manufacturing

Overseas reports showed Germany led growth in manufacturing and services in the euro area, while a gauge for China’s factory output unexpectedly showed expansion.

Energy stocks rallied 1.4% and materials producers jumped 1% as all 10 main industries in the S&P 500 advanced today.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. surged 6.3% to $22.55 and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. added 4% to $31.57 to pace gains among miners. Industrial metals rallied on the data from China, the world’s biggest consumer of commodities.

A factory index released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics showed a preliminary reading of 50.1, exceeding the 48.2 median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg survey. Readings above 50 signal growth.

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