U.S. stocks advance, extending records, amid Iran nuclear deal

Most Bullish

“The most bullish thing you could have is the Fed says, ‘Hey, we feel comfortable enough to step away,’” Warren Koontz, the co-manager of the Loomis Sayles Value Fund in Boston, said in a phone interview. Loomis Sayles & Co. manages about $191 billion. “The underpinning of the stock market is probably pretty good.”

The S&P 500 has risen for the past seven weeks, its longest winning streak since February, as reports showed retail sales beat estimates and fewer Americans than expected filed for jobless benefits.

Four of the 10 main S&P 500 groups advanced today, with health-care and financial stocks gaining at least 0.4%.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index rose 2.7% to 12.59. The gauge of S&P 500 options known as the VIX trimmed its 2013 decline to 30%.

Alcoa, Caterpillar

Alcoa gained 4.3% to $9.64. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded the shares of the largest U.S. aluminum maker to buy from neutral. The brokerage said the stock may climb to $11.

“We believe that the market is not fully appreciating Alcoa’s solid position in growing value-added and high-margin aluminum products for the aerospace and automotive industries,” analysts Sal Tharani and Chelsea Bolton wrote.

Caterpillar added 2.2% to $84.68. Bank of America Corp. raised the world’s largest maker of mining equipment to buy from neutral, saying the power-systems business will help earnings next year.

DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., a provider of kidney care services, climbed 9% to $61.61. U.S. regulators scrapped a proposed 9.4% reduction in Medicare payments to dialysis providers.

Airlines Rally

The Bloomberg U.S. Airlines Index added 1.8% to the highest level since February 2007, on optimism a decline in fuel costs will help profit. Delta Air Lines Inc. rose 2% to a record $29.17 and United Continental Holdings Inc. gained 4% to $40.08.

Energy shares slumped 0.7% for the worst performance among 10 S&P 500 industries as crude, gasoline and heating oil fell following the interim deal with Iran.

Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services provider, dropped 2.7% to $90.23. Noble, an offshore rig contractor, slipped 3.8% to $38.07.

Homebuilder shares retreated after data from the National Association of Realtors showed pending home sales fell 0.6% in October, a fifth month of declines, amid higher borrowing costs. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 1% gain from the month before.

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