* Durable goods data tops expectations
* Lennar posts revenue climb
* Walgreen slips after earnings
* Indexes up: Dow 0.49 pct, S&P 0.47 pct, Nasdaq 0.3 pct
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, June 25 U.S. stocks advanced on
Tuesday, putting the S&P 500 on track to stem recent losses
after comments from central bankers in the U.S. and China eased
recent concerns about a credit crunch and an end to stimulus
The People's Bank of China said it would not press banks too
greatly in its efforts to curb easy credit as it sought to ease
worries of a possible banking crisis.
The S&P 500 on Monday closed at its lowest level
since April 22 after China's central bank said the country's
banks need to do a better job of managing their cash and due to
continued worries about a reduction in stimulus measures from
the U.S. Federal Reserve.
But equities pared losses late in the session after two Fed
officials downplayed the notion of an imminent end to monetary
stimulus. The benchmark S&P index has fallen 4.8 percent since
the Fed signaled last week that it may begin to lessen stimulus
should its economic forecasts hold true, including a 1.4 percent
drop the day of the announcement.
"Today everything seems to be calmed down - you've got every
Fed President going out at every opportunity trying to assure
everyone that they have overreacted," said Ken Polcari, Director
of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities in New York.
Housing-related stocks advanced, buoyed by a flurry of data
that showed continued momentum in the industry's recovery. The
PHLX housing sector index climbed 2.1 percent.
Adding support was data showing durable goods orders
increased 3.6 percent in May, above the 3 percent forecast, the
latest signs of a pick-up in economic activity.
Data from the Conference Board showed consumer confidence
jumped in June to 81.4, its highest level in over five years,
and above expectations for a 75.4 reading.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 67.85 points,
or 0.46 percent, to 14,727.41. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
added 7.47 points, or 0.47 percent, to 1,580.56. The
Nasdaq Composite Index rose 10.12 points, or 0.30
percent, to 3,330.88.
The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of house prices in 20
metropolitan areas gained 1.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted
basis, topping forecasts for 1.2 percent, indicating the housing
recovery continues to gain momentum.
New home sales data increased 2.1 percent in May to a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 476,000 units, the highest
since July 2008.
Lennar Corp climbed 3.3 percent to $36.13 after the
No. 3 U.S. homebuilder reported a 53 percent jump in quarterly
revenue as it sold more homes at higher prices, and said orders
rose 27 percent.
Walgreen Co slumped 6 percent to $45.17 as the worst
performer on the S&P 500 after reporting weaker-than-expected
results, citing slow front-end sales and a challenging economy.
Barnes & Noble Inc tumbled 13.3 percent to $16.32
after the largest U.S. bookstore chain reported its quarterly
net loss more than doubled.