Stocks rose on Monday as solid results from the No. 2 U.S. home improvement retailer, Lowe's Cos Inc
Positive broker comments on Bank of America Corp
Shares of Lowe's rose 9 percent to $20.11 after the company raised its full-year forecast due to signs that the housing market's decline may be ebbing. Lowe's Chief Executive Robert Niblock said consumer confidence has improved in recent weeks, and housing turnover is showing signs of a bottom.
That optimism helped lift shares of companies in sectors such as homebuilding and retail. Lowe's top rival Home Depot Inc
We begin to see evidence that we're moving from a slower rate of negative change to positive growth and I think there is more room for this to run on the upside, said Craig Hester, chief executive of Hester Capital Management in Austin, Texas.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 175.70 points, or 2.13 percent, to 8,444.34. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 18.05 points, or 2.04 percent, to 900.93. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 32.42 points, or 1.93 percent, to 1,712.56.
The S&P 500 recently climbed from a 12-year closing low on March 9, rising 37.4 percent through the close on May 8. But after the benchmark index gave up some ground last week amid concerns about the economy and a flurry of secondary stock offerings the S&P 500 was up 33 percent in Monday's trading.
Lowe's quarterly numbers also served as a fresh catalyst for investors eager to sustain the market's rally and offered a sharp contrast to last week's disappointing April retail sales data.
Investors watch retail sales closedly because consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.
The Dow Jones U.S. home construction index <.DJUSHB> jumped 5.8 percent, helped by Citigroup's upgrade of Lennar Corp
In broker research news, Goldman raised its recommendation on Bank of America's stock to buy. Separately, Citigroup said it now expects Bank of America will report a second-quarter profit instead of a loss.
Shares of Bank of America climbed 8.5 percent to $11.58 on the New York Stock Exchange, driving bank stocks sharply higher. The KBW Bank index <.BKX> gained 5.4 percent.
Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp
On the Nasdaq, chipmaker Qualcomm Inc
Shares of International Business Machines
(Editing by Jan Paschal)