Bloomberg News

U.S. Stock Futures Extend Gain as New York Manufacturing Expands

May 15, 2012

U.S. stock-index futures extended gains after a report showed manufacturing in the New York area grew faster than forecast, easing concern that economic growth will slow.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring next month added 0.7 percent to 1,343.0 at 8:33 a.m. in New York.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index increased to 17.1 this month from 6.6 in April. The median estimate in a survey of Bloomberg economists called for an increase to 9. Readings greater than zero signal expansion in the so-called Empire State Index, which covers New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut.

Another report showed retail sales in the U.S. rose in April at the slowest pace of the year, showing unseasonably mild weather and pre-Easter shopping may have pulled consumers to stores the prior month. The 0.1 percent gain followed a 0.7 percent increase in March, Commerce Department figures showed.

Stocks fell for a second day yesterday, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a four-month low, as Greece struggled to form a new government amid growing speculation the nation may leave the European currency. The decline extended the S&P 500’s retreat from a four-year high on April 2 to 5.7 percent.

The S&P 500 took longer than usual to fall 5 percent from its peak this year, a sign that any further retreat in U.S. stocks will be “contained,” according to Sam Stovall of S&P.

The benchmark gauge reached the threshold yesterday after spending 28 days without losing 5 percent from its April high. Since 1950, it has taken an average 19 days to fall 5 percent, based on a study by Stovall, S&P’s New York-based chief equity strategist.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael P. Regan at mregan12@bloomberg.net


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