Saturday, 18 February 2012

US stocks moves close to last peak as leading index rises

US stocks rose on Friday, the S&P 500 rising 0.2 percent to 1,361.23 and leaving it just 0.2 percent below its April peak of 1,363.61.

The gain in stocks came as US economic data continued to come in positive.

The Conference Board reported on Friday that its index of leading indicators rose 0.4 percent in January. This followed a 0.5 percent rise in December. The latest increases were the strongest back-to-back gains in almost a year.

Another report on Friday showed that the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent in January, as did the core index that excludes food and energy. The year-on-year change in the overall index was 2.9 percent, the smallest increase since March 2011. However, the year-on-year change in the core index was 2.3 percent, the biggest since September 2008.

There was also positive data in the UK, where retail sales volumes rose 0.9 percent in January.

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