Bloomberg News

Stocks, Euro Advance as EU Crafts $1.3 Trillion Rescue Fund

October 20, 2011

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks and the euro rose, recovering from earlier losses, as European governments discussed deploying $1.3 trillion in funds to tame the sovereign debt crisis. Treasuries fell and commodities pared losses.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index increased 0.5 percent to 1,215.39 at the 4 p.m. close in New York after tumbling as much as 1 percent. The euro gained 0.2 percent to $1.3786, rebounding from a 0.8 percent slide, and 10-year Treasury yields rose two basis points to 2.19 percent after decreasing as much as five basis points. The S&P GSCI Index of commodities lost 0.3 percent, recovering from a 1.9 percent decline.

Riskier assets rebounded as two people familiar with the matter said Europe may combine the temporary and permanent rescue funds to pool as much as 940 billion euros to fight the crisis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a joint statement they want euro-region leaders to agree on an “ambitious” plan. The European Union said a planned Oct. 23 summit will be followed by another session on Oct. 26.

“The main thing is -- can we get to the point where we actually have a constructive resolution in Europe?” Brian Barish, Denver-based president of Cambiar Investors LLC, which oversees about $8 billion, said in a telephone interview. “The market is hypersensitive as to whether or not a plan will emerge that will stabilize Europe.”

Earlier losses in stocks, commodities and the euro came amid growing concern leaders were gridlocked on plans to leverage the region’s bailout fund as Merkel canceled a speech to the German parliament tomorrow. Banks in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 4 percent as a group and yields on 10-year Italian bonds topped 6 percent for the first time in more than two months, underscoring the urgency of the need for a solution.

Financial Shares Reverse

Financial shares in the S&P 500 rose 1.8 percent as a group, reversing a 1.1 percent slide and posting the biggest gain among 10 industries. Fifth Third Bancorp and KeyCorp rose 9.1 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively, to lead gains after the Ohio-based regional lenders posted better-than-estimated earnings. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Alcoa Inc. climbed at least 1.8 percent for the top gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which increased 0.3 percent to 11,541.78.

EBay Inc. slid 3.1 percent after the largest online marketplace forecast sales and profit that missed some analyst estimates. Boston Scientific Corp. slipped 4.4 percent after third-quarter profit declined 25 percent as demand fell for its defibrillators and pacemakers used to regulate the heart.

Earnings-per share have topped analysts’ estimates at about 75 percent of the 89 companies in the S&P 500 that released results since Oct. 11. Net Income has grown 15 percent for the group and sales have increased 9.5 percent, Bloomberg data show.

Philadelphia Manufacturing

U.S. equities climbed early in the session as the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s general economic index climbed more than forecast to 8.7, unexpectedly signaling expansion in the area covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.

About five shares declined for every one that gained in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, which slipped 1.5 percent. European markets closed before France and Germany issued their joint statement. Banks led losses, with Italy’s UniCredit SpA plunging 12 percent and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA slumping 9.8 percent. Banks that need aid from Europe’s rescue fund must be restructured as a condition for receiving capital, according to draft guidelines obtained by Bloomberg News.

The yield on French 10-year debt rose to 115 basis points above benchmark German bunds, the highest since the creation of the euro currency.

European Yields

The yield on the Spanish 10-year bond rose 13 basis points to a two-month high of 5.53 percent as demand dropped at the nation’s first debt sale since Moody’s Investors Service cut the country’s credit ranking.

Greek 10-year bond yields slipped 41 basis points to 23.89 percent, compared with a record 26.70 percent on Sept. 15.

EU officials weighing deeper losses for Greek bondholders in a revamped bailout are concerned that any investor involvement risks further roiling markets, say people familiar with the EU’s deliberations. The people said the EU is considering five scenarios for the private sector’s role. They range from sticking with July’s voluntary debt swap plan to forcing investors to exchange Greek bonds for new ones at 50 percent of their value.

Greek Austerity

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou won the backing of a majority of lawmakers in a second test of support for a new austerity package. Greek Citizen Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis appealed for calm after a man died during protests in Athens today.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index retreated 2.7 percent, the biggest decline on a closing basis in more than two weeks. South Korea’s Kospi Index declined 2.7 percent as benchmark gauges for Brazil and Poland lost at least 1.7 percent.

The Shanghai Composite Index slumped 1.9 percent to a 31- month low on concern China may persist with policies to rein in lending. Risks stemming from private lending must be “strictly controlled,” China’s banking regulator said.

Thailand’s SET Index lost 3.1 percent as the central bank said it will cut its economic growth forecast as the worst floods in 50 years threaten to keep factories closed for months.

--With assistance from James G. Neuger and Rebecca Christie in Brussels. Editors: Michael P. Regan, Nick Baker

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael P. Regan in New York at mregan12@bloomberg.net; Rita Nazareth in New York at rnazareth@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Baker at nbaker7@bloomberg.net


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