U.S. Stocks Rise on Holiday Sales, Europe Progress

U.S. stocks rose, snapping a seven- day decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, after Thanksgiving retail sales climbed to a record and euro-area leaders were said to boost efforts to end the debt crisis.

Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) advanced more than 3.8 percent, tracking European banking shares. Alcoa Inc. (AA) climbed 5.3 percent as metal prices rose. Energy companies in the S&P 500 soared 4 percent as oil rallied above $100 a barrel. AT&T Inc. (T) added 1.9 percent after the company was said to prepare an antitrust remedy proposal over its acquisition of Deutsche Telekom AG’s U.S. unit. Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) jumped 5.8 percent on record Black Friday sales of its Kindle products.

The S&P 500 advanced 3.1 percent to 1,194.20 at 11:22 a.m. New York time. The benchmark equity index fell 7.9 percent from Nov. 15 through Nov. 25, including the worst Thanksgiving-week decline since 1932. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 295.21 points, or 2.6 percent, to 11,526.99.

“The market is reflecting that the U.S. retail sales were just colossal and some movement forward in Europe,” Tom Mangan, who helps oversee about $2.8 billion at James Investment Research Inc. in Xenia, Ohio, said in a telephone interview. “There’s a sense of urgency developing among European leaders as well as a recognition that the stakes are extremely high now,” he said. “The volatility is still with us to a major extent, we’re not out of the woods.”

Thanksgiving Sales

U.S. retail sales during the Thanksgiving weekend increased 16 percent to $52.4 billion, the National Retail Federation said, citing a survey conducted by BIGresearch. The average shopper spent $398.62, up from $365.34 a year earlier. Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, grew at a 2.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the fastest pace in 2011, the Commerce Department said Nov. 22.

U.S. stocks maintained gains after a report showing fewer new homes were purchased in October than forecast. Sales increased 1.3 percent to a 307,000 annual pace, data from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 70 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a 315,000 rate.

In Europe, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are discussing an agreement under which member states will commit to tighter budget discipline without waiting for treaty changes. The newspaper did not say where it got the information.

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