NEW YORK – U.S. stocks rose in a broad rally on Thursday, bouncing back from two straight days of losses, helped by a weaker dollar and a rally in banking shares.
A weak outlook from Intel, however, limited gains in the tech sector.
Retail sales unexpectedly dropped for a third month in February, which helped the euro rebound from a 12-year low. A pause in the dollar’s recent rally helped ease worries about corporate profits and tempered the outlook for first-quarter growth and a June interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve.
“I’ve been a believer in a June rate hike for a while, but the odds really went up on Friday, and the market action we’ve seen since then is in line with the volatility we’ve historically seen around rate hikes,” said James Liu, global market strategist for JPMorgan Funds in Chicago.
The S&P financial sector rose 1.6 percent as one of the biggest gainers on the day in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s annual checkup on the industry’s health.
Citigroup passed, allowing it to raise payouts and sending shares up 2.7 percent to $53.75. Bank of America was told to get a better grip on internal controls and its data models; shares fell 0.7 percent to $16.
Nine of the 10 primary S&P 500 sectors were higher on the day, though the rally only represented a partial rebound off a recent bout of weakness, which has left the S&P 500 down about 3 percent from its March 2 record closing high.
The weakness has largely been driven by concerns the Fed could raise rates as early as June. Last week’s strong payroll report solidified this view as the central bank said it would begin raising rates when it deemed the economy strong enough.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 205.27 points, or 1.16 percent, to 17,840.66, the S&P 500 gained 20.14 points, or 0.99 percent, to 2,060.38 and the Nasdaq Composite added 31.44 points, or 0.65 percent, to 4,881.38.
Intel Corp slashed its first-quarter revenue forecast, citing lower-than-expected demand for business PCs and lower inventory levels across the PC supply chain. Shares of the Dow component fell 4.2 percent to $30.96 and limited the Nasdaq’s advance.
Lumber Liquidators rose 12 percent to $36.79 in volatile trading. The company, facing U.S. government investigations over claims of dangerous levels of a cancer-causing substance in its flooring products, stood by the safety its products and offered free indoor air-quality testing for qualifying consumers.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,187 to 831, for a 2.63-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,887 issues rose and 829 fell for a 2.28-to-1 ratio.
The benchmark S&P 500 was posting 16 new 52-week highs and 8 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 117 new highs and 68 new lows.
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