US stocks gained for a fifth straight session yesterday, their longest string of gains since November, as a bright outlook from consumer product company <strong>Procter & Gamble</strong> and a successful Treasury bond auction boosted investors’ confidence.<br /><br />Strong demand for the sale of 30-year Treasury bonds lifted confidence in US assets, including stocks. The S&P 500 stock index rose to its highest in nearly a year.<br /><br />Procter & Gamble was the Dow’s biggest lift, climbing 4.2 per cent to $56.04 after it affirmed its earnings forecast for the current quarter and said sales would improve in the next quarter.<br /><br />“There is no selling pressure in this market. You see more believers in the market, more bullish sentiment and people are starting to believe that this rally is real,” said Keith W. Springer, president at Capital Financial Advisory Services.<br /><br />The S&P now stands 54 per cent higher from its 12-year closing low on 9 March.<br /><br />Chip companies Texas Instruments and ASML both boosted their sales outlooks in a signal consumers are spending cash on personal technology. Semiconductor shares gained 1.8 per cent.<br /><br />The Dow Jones industrial average was up 80.26 points, or 0.84 per cent, at 9,627.48. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 10.77 points, or 1.04 per cent, at 1,044.14. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 23.63 points, or 1.15 per cent, at 2,084.02.<br /><br />Adding to optimism was jobless claims data, which fell to its lowest since July last week, while a separate government report showed imports of foreign goods rose to a record, suggesting more strength in US consumer spending.<br /><br />But among decliners, Monsanto, the world’s biggest seed company, fell 5 per cent to $79.30 after it forecast fiscal 2010 earnings below Wall Street’s estimates.<br /><br />Health insurance stocks rose 3.5 per cent after analysts said President Barack Obama’s speech urging Congress to act on health care reform indicated a government-run insurance option opposed by the industry was less likely to pass.<br /><br />On the Nasdaq, <strong>Yahoo</strong> added 4.5 per cent to $15.45.