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Stocks advance amid quarterly rally as home sales climb

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was little changed, capping the longest string of quarterly gains since 1998, as a jump in pending home sales offset weaker-than-forecast manufacturing data.

D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI) rallied 3.2 percent, leading gains among homebuilders. Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose 2.6 percent after Piper Jaffray Cos. recommended buying the stock.

MannKind Corp. (Nasdaq: MNKD) jumped 9.6 percent as the maker of diabetes drugs rebounded from its worst week in two months. Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN) declined 2.7 percent following regulatory decisions on its drugs.

The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1 percent to 1,960.23. The equity benchmark gauge rose 4.7 percent for the quarter, a sixth consecutive advance.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 25.24 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,826.60 Monday, trimming its quarterly advance to 2.2 percent. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.2 percent, giving it a 5 percent increase for the three months.

The S&P 500 trades at 16.6 times the projected earnings of its members, near its highest valuation in four years. The index has failed to post a gain or loss exceeding 1 percent for 51 straight days, the longest stretch since 1995.

More than 5.7 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges Monday, 4.7 percent below the three-month average.

The S&P 500 and the Dow advanced earlier as data showed the number of contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes jumped 6.1 percent in May, the most in more than four years, a sign the residential-real estate market is rebounding after a slow start to the year.

An S&P index of homebuilders rose 1.1 percent as 10 of its 11 members gained. D.R. Horton advanced 3.2 percent to $24.58 and Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) climbed 0.9 percent to $41.98.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc.’s business barometer fell to 62.6 in June from 65.5 the prior month. The median forecast of 45 economists in a Bloomberg survey projected the index would fall to 63.

Data on manufacturing and auto sales will be released Tuesday, with the government’s payrolls report due on July 3 before the holiday weekend.

U.S. equities have reached all-time highs as data from employment to housing fueled confidence that the U.S. economy is rebounding after the worst contraction in gross domestic product since 2009.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said June 18 that accommodative monetary policy, rising property and equity prices and the improving global economy should lead to above-trend growth.

Yahoo added 2.6 percent to $35.13. Piper Jaffray raised its rating on the search-engine company to “overweight,” similar to a “buy” recommendation, from neutral, saying its 23 percent stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is undervalued.

Analysts estimate the Chinese e-commerce company, which plans an initial public offering in New York, has a value of about $168 billion.

Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MU) advanced 4.6 percent to $32.95 for the biggest increase in the S&P 500 after Credit Suisse Group AG added the company to the firm’s top investment ideas.

NetApp Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) jumped 2.9 percent to $36.52. The data-storage company looks “dirt cheap” with 14 percent free cash flow yield, Barron’s reported, citing Brian White, an analyst with Cantor Fitzgerald LP.

MannKind jumped 9.6 percent to $10.96. U.S. regulators approved its inhaled insulin with a label warning that the product shouldn’t be used by those with asthma or a serious lung disease.

Allergan, the drugmaker resisting a takeover by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX), slipped 2.7 percent to $169.22. The Food and Drug Administration rejected Semprana, an inhalable treatment for migraines, because of problems with the drug’s delivery device. The agency approved Allergan’s Ozurdex, a treatment of vision loss in diabetics.

PetSmart Inc. (Nasdaq: PTM) slipped 1.9 percent to $59.80. The pet-store chain’s sales slowdown will continue this year, hurt by competition, according to Investment Technology Group.

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