Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Commodities halted a four-day slump as reports showed American new-home sales and durable-goods orders grew. U.S. stocks headed for the longest slump of the year and Treasuries rose as investors watched budget negotiations in Washington.
The S&P GSCI Index of 24 raw materials advanced 0.6 percent at 10:15 a.m. in New York as energy and precious metals led gains. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell for a fifth day, losing 0.2 percent to 1,693.33, and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.3 percent. Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields fell one basis point to 2.64 percent after reaching the lowest level in six weeks. Japan’s currency rose against 11 of its 16 major counterparts after earlier strengthening versus all 16.
Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said yesterday that investor confidence that a deal can be struck to raise the U.S. debt limit is "a bit greater than it should be." Commerce Department data showed demand for durable goods, items meant to last at least three years, rose 0.1 percent in August after plunging 8.1 percent in July and purchases of new homes climbed 7.9 percent to a 421,000 annualized pace. A Bloomberg National Poll showed Americans are losing faith in an economic recovery.
"While it’s likely that the U.S. will reach a budget deal in the end, the uncertainty surrounding it in the meantime has fueled risk aversion," said Neil Jones, head of hedge-fund sales at Mizuho Bank Ltd. in London.
Lew, who spoke at the Bloomberg Markets 50 Summit in New York yesterday, said the government probably will have less than $50 billion in cash by mid-October. Twenty-seven percent of poll respondents anticipate improvement in the U.S. economy’s strength over the next year, down from 39 percent in the last survey in June, according to a Bloomberg National Poll.
The S&P 500 retreated 1.6 percent over the previous four sessions. Among stocks moving today, Stryker Corp. slipped 1.9 after agreeing to buy Mako Surgical Corp. for $1.65 billion. Carnival Corp. retreated 4.3 percent as analysts cut their recommendations after the world’s largest cruise-ship operator forecast a possible quarterly loss. Noble Corp. added 2.9 percent after saying it plans to spin off about half its fleet.
About three stocks fell for every two that rose on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Carnival Corp., the cruise-ship operator that yesterday forecast results that trailed analysts’ estimates, tumbled 6.1 percent in London trading as brokerages from Morgan Stanley to Natixis downgraded the shares. Nordea Bank AB slid 2.8 percent as Sweden sold its remaining 7 percent stake in the bank for 21.6 billion kronor ($3.4 billion).
The yield on 10-year Treasury reversed its decline after earlier decreasing to 2.63 percent, the lowest since Aug. 13. The yen rose less than 0.1 percent to 98.70 per dollar, appreciating for a fourth successive day. The U.S. currency weakened 0.2 percent to $1.3497 per euro. The euro was up 0.1 percent at 133.21 yen.