NEW YORK — U.S. stocks rose, pushing the Standard & Poor’s 500 index to a two-week high, as a slowdown in retail sales boosted speculation the Federal Reserve won’t be forced to raise rates sooner than anticipated.
Amazon.com climbed 2.2 percent after ChannelAdvisor said the retailer’s same-store sales rose 40 percent in July. Vertex Pharmaceuticals jumped 3.9 percent to lead gains among health-care stocks. King Digital Entertainment plummeted 23 percent after posting worse-than-forecast sales and cutting its 2014 outlook. Macy’s lost 5.5 percent after profit fell short of estimates.
The S&P 500 gained 0.7 percent to 1,946.72. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 91.26 points, or 0.6 percent, to 16,651.80, also the highest in two weeks. About 5.1 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, 11 percent below the three-month average.
“There is some feeling that events overseas are beginning to cool down a little bit but also the retail numbers might suggest that the Fed is not going to be so aggressive in raising rates any time soon,” Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Milwaukee-based RW Baird & Co., said in a phone interview. “That has been the backbone of the market for the past five years.”