New York Report: Upbeat data helps to drive Wall St higher

US stocks resumed their upward move yesterday as economic data underscored views US monetary stimulus will be in place for the foreseeable future and as earnings offered some upbeat news.

Shares of PulteGroup jumped after the homebuilder reported results and said a slowdown in new home orders would be “short-lived.” Its shares jumped 7 per cent to $17.85 and were the biggest percentage gainer on the S&P 500, while shares of D.R. Horton rose 2.1 per cent to $19.87 and Beazer Homes added 1.5 per cent to $19.41.

Economic data showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell less than expected in the latest week, though analysts noted a backlog of applications in California. On Tuesday, data showed that employers added fewer jobs than expected in September.

The day’s data also included a preliminary look at Markit’s October Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, which grew at its slowest pace in a year.

The S&P 500 declined on Wednesday, ending its four-session streak of record high finishes. Last week’s legislation to avoid a debt default and end a partial government shutdown gave way to a relief rally and speculation that the Federal Reserve will delay scaling back its stimulus for several months.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 95.88 points, or 0.62 per cent, at 15,509.21. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 5.69 points, or 0.33 per cent, at 1,752.07. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 21.89 points, or 0.56 per cent, at 3,928.96.