U.S. Stocks Rally, Extend S&P 500’s Best Monthly Gain Since ’91
March 25 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks rose, extending the best monthly rally in 17 years for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as unexpected growth in durable-goods orders and new-home sales boosted optimism that the economy is stabilizing.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average reversed a 110-point drop in the final hour of trading as investors overcame concern about a disappointing auction of Treasuries notes. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Alcoa Inc. led the advance after the government reported a 3.4 percent increase in demand for longer lasting products such as refrigerators, airplanes and computer chips and a 4.7 percent gain in new-home purchases.
The S&P 500 added 1 percent to 813.88 and has jumped almost 11 percent in March for its best gain since 1991. The Dow gained 89.84 points, or 1.2 percent, to 7,749.81. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 0.8 percent to 1,528.95. Almost three stocks rose for each that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.
“This could be the beginning of an improvement,” said Charles Smith, who manages $700 million in Pittsburgh including the Fort Pitt Capital Total Return Fund, which beat 78 percent of its peers last year. “The market is essentially saying, ‘Now we have an idea that we’ve already seen the worst rate of change in GDP.’”