Shares of retailers and other consumer companies rose after strong housing data.
New-home sales rose 0.6% in April to a seasonally adjusted rate of 623,000, according to the Commerce Department. Used home sales, which represent the bulk of property-market transactions in the U.S., are still in retreat. Meanwhile, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which measures average home prices in major metropolitan areas across the nation, rose 4.4% in the year that ended in March, up from a 4.2% annual rate the prior month, an improbable rise given the curtailed movements of buyers and sellers.
U.S. airline stocks continued their recent rally as the lifting of travel restrictions in some regions and financial support from the German government for beleaguered carriers like Germany's Deutsche Lufthansa eased existential fears about the business.
British Airways parent IAG rose by roughly 20% in London trading. Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings, the British sports-car company made famous by James Bond, ousted its chief executive, Andy Palmer, appointing former Daimler executive Tobias Moers, in a fresh bid to resuscitate the troubled brand after a disappointing stock-market debut in 2018.
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