U.S. stocks rallied, extending the market’s best monthly gain since 1974, on better-than-estimated earnings at Best Buy Co. and ConAgra Foods Inc. and prospects for lower labor costs at General Motors Corp. Treasury one-month bill rates turned negative for the first time since December.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 2.3 percent to 832.86, up 13 percent in March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 174.75 points, or 2.3 percent, to a six-week high of 7,924.56. The Nasdaq Composite rallied 3.8 percent, erasing its loss for the year. Stocks extended gains as an auction of seven- year Treasuries eased concern that demand for government debt is dwindling.
Stocks added to an advance yesterday triggered by government data showing unexpected growth in durable-good orders and new-home sales. Those reports tempered reaction to Commerce Department data today that said the economy shrank last quarter at a 6.3 percent annual pace, more than previously estimated while less than the average forecast in a Bloomberg survey.