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MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Up After Longest Decline Since May

By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks rose Friday, rebounding from the market's longest decline since May, after U.S. and Chinese economic data failed to dent hopes of further stimulus and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. reported a $5 billion profit in the second quarter. Chip Cobb, portfolio manager at BMT Asset Management in Bryn Mawr, Penn., said the end-of-week rally is mostly a matter of the recent market correction, which has equities priced at more compelling levels. "It's more of a valuation standpoint, a number of companies have come down to some pretty attractive levels. You eventually have to put some money to work." "Some people are going to point to China, some to the possibility of more stimulus, but I think it's more of a trading issue, meaning we've watched the market pull back a bit," Cobb added. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 159.20 points, or 1.3%, to 12,732.47, with 29 of its 30 components climbing, led by J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM), up 4.9% after the bank reported a $5 billion profit in the second quarter, which included a $4.4 billion loss on synthetic credit derivatives. . The sole blue-chip decliner, Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) fell 2.6% after a J.P. Morgan analyst reiterated an underweight rating on shares of the maker of personal computers and printers. A warning late Thursday from printer manufacturer Lexmark International Inc. (LXK) that it would miss second-quarter expectations did not help H-P's cause. "They are the single best bank, not only domestically but globally. Will they get this behind them? There is no doubt about it. But it is a black eye; they were viewed as above this," said Cobb. The S&P 500 index (SPX) climbed 16.25 points, or 1.2%, to 1,351.01, with finance companies pacing the gains that included all 10 of the index's sectors. The Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) advanced 27.41 points, or 1%, to 2,893.59. For every stock falling five rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where 199 million shares traded as of 11:25 a.m. Eastern. U.S. stocks rose further after the University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters consumer sentiment index fell to an initial read of 72 in July from 73.2 in June. The confidence number was off some from the prior month, but still "way off the bottoms," said Stuart Freeman, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis. "We're certainly not looking at boom times, but we still are seeing consumer spending. At some point, the consumer needs to make some purchases to get on with his or her life, and we're seeing signs of that," he added. Ahead of the bell, China said its economy expanded 7.6% in the second quarter year-over-year, its slowest pace in three years, but in line with expectations.

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