U.S. stocks rose to the highest level since January yesterday as a rally in the dollar and better-than-estimated technology earnings prompted investors to shun commodities and shift into shares of banks, retailers, and computer companies.
Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Citigroup Inc. led financial stocks to a two-month high as the dollar advanced 1.1% against the euro on speculation the Federal Reserve is done cutting interest rates. Symantec Corp. surged the most in six years after the world's biggest maker of security software said fourth-quarter profit tripled, while Comcast Corp. posted its steepest rise since 2002 on new Internet-access subscribers.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index jumped 23.75 points, or 1.7%, to 1,409.34, its first close above 1,400 since January 14. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 189.87, or 1.5%, to 13,010, the first close above 13,000 since January 3. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 67.91, or 2.8%, to 2,480.71. Three stocks rose for each that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.
"There's a lot of money in the short-dollar, long- commodity trade and it doesn't take much to whipsaw back," Jon Fisher, a Minneapolis-based portfolio manager at Fifth Third Asset Management, which oversees about $22 billion, said. "That money's got to rotate somewhere else, and today it's rotating into technology and financials, two laggard sectors this year."