Stocks climb after orders for durable goods rise

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose Tuesday after the government reported that orders for big-ticket items rose unexpectedly last month. Hillshire Brands jumped after poultry producer Pilgrim's Pride offered to buy the meat producer.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 10 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,911 as of 11:09 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 60 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,645. The Nasdaq composite climbed 29 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,215.

BIG TICKET ITEMS: Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods unexpectedly crept higher in April, powered by a surge in demand for military aircraft. The Commerce Department said orders for durable goods rose 0.8 percent in April. Economists had predicted that orders would decline.

ANOTHER MILESTONE: The S&P 500 index, the benchmark for most U.S. mutual funds, closed above 1,900 for the first time Friday. The index has gained 3.2 percent so far this year, after surging almost 30 percent in 2013. The stock market was closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.

MEATY MERGER: Hillshire Brands, the maker of Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage and other meat products, jumped $8.13, or 22 percent, to $45.15 after poultry producer Pilgrim's Pride offered to acquire the company in a deal worth about $5.6 billion.

SECOND TRY: Bank of America said it's resubmitting its capital plan to the Federal Reserve a month after it discovered errors in its initial report, forcing the bank to suspend a dividend increase and a plan to buy back more of its own shares. The bank's stock rose 56 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $15.28.

CONFIDENCE RISING: U.S. consumers were slightly more confident in the economy in May than in April, partly because they are more optimistic about future hiring and income gains. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its confidence index rose to 83 from 81.7 in April.

Consumers were more positive about the outlook for the labor market. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased to 15.4 percent from 14.7 percent.

BONDS AND COMMODITIES: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 2.54 percent from 2.53 percent on Friday. Crude oil slipped 16 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $104.19 a barrel. Gold fell $22.40, or 1.7 percent, to $1,269.40 an ounce.