U.S. stocks posted for their first four-day winning streak since January, as semiconductor and biotechnology shares rallied while weaker-than-expected retail sales spurred speculation on timing for higher interest rates.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.4 percent to 2,108.86 at 4 p.m. in New York, with the gauge surging above its average price during the past 50 days and closing at a three-week high.
A report today showed consumer purchases decreased 0.3 percent in June after a 1 percent advance in May that was smaller than previously reported, curbing optimism about the strength of the rebound in spending during the second quarter.
The S&P 500 last week fell as much as 4 percent from its all-time high, and has since recovered to trade within 1 percent of its record set in May as the Greek crisis neared a resolution and China shares stabilized. The benchmark gauge and the Dow are up 3 percent over four sessions, while the Nasdaq Composite has added 4 percent.