(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks rose for the first time this week as the dollar weakened and a bond-market selloff showed signs of easing. Gold and silver futures rose to the highest since February.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index increased 0.7 percent at 11:41 a.m. in New York, climbing within 0.2 percent of a record after a three-day slide. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index retreated 0.1 percent, paring earlier losses. The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell six basis points to 2.23 percent while German bund rates slipped four basis points.
The dollar is heading for a fifth weekly decline, the longest streak since October 2013, as economic data undermine prospects for higher borrowing costs any time soon. Declines in the currency have generally boosted shares of the biggest U.S. companies on speculation they make American products more attractive overseas. Concern the dollar’s rally through March would crimp exports contributed to the biggest reduction in S&P 500 earnings estimates since 2009.
“The dollar’s getting a little bit weaker and the bond market is actually rallying a bit as opposed to what’s been happening,” Mark Kepner, an equity trader at Themis Trading LLC, in Chatham, New Jersey, said via phone. “The jobless claims numbers were also good and continue to show the job market is getting better, while PPI numbers didn’t show any worries about inflation.”
Fewer Americans than forecast filed for unemployment benefits last week, while wholesale prices unexpectedly declined in April, data showed. A report Wednesday indicated retail sales stagnated.
The dollar had climbed nine straight months through March on speculation the first hike in almost a decade was looming. The greenback was little changed at $1.13546 per euro, after dropping 1.2 percent Wednesday.
Concern the Fed would raise interest rates even with worsening economic data has whipsawed stocks between gains and losses in the past six weeks. The S&P 500 is heading for a 0.1 percent drop this week, and is 0.2 percent below its record close on April 24.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.9 percent, as all 30 members of the index gained. Nine of 10 main S&P 500 industries advanced Thursday, with technology shares rallying a second day.