Stocks End Higher on Christmas Surge
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Silence out of Europe and a second day of positive economic data in the U.S. proved to be an early Christmas gift for investors, with stocks closing out the week on a high note.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day up 124 points, or 1%, at 12,294. All but four components -- Alcoa (AA), Boeing (BA), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) -- traded higher on the index. Cisco (CSCO), Walt Disney (DIS) and Bank of America (BAC) led gains.
Investors cheered a decision from the House of Representatives and the Senate to temporarily extend a payroll tax cut by two months. Lawmakers have been stuck in a deadlock as Republicans said that such a measure to only kick the can down the road.Market sentiment was positive despite some lackluster economic releases. This comes after improving jobless claims and consumer sentiment figures helped fuel optimism about the U.S. economy Thursday. Orders for long-lasting U.S. goods rose 3.8% in November, according to a Commerce Department report, better than the 2% expected from economists polled by Thomson Reuters. Orders for transportation equipment helped total orders rise the most since July. The read on the prior month's orders, however, was downwardly revised to no growth. Excluding cars, orders rose 0.3% in November adding to an upwardly revised 1.5% in October. Economists had forecast a rise to 0.5%. In a separate report, the Commerce Department said personal income and spending in November both edged up 0.1%, disappointing estimates. The consensus was for incomes to rise by 0.2% and spending to rise by 0.3%. In the prior month, incomes tacked on 0.4%. New home sales rose to a seven-month high in November, coming in at 315,000 at an annualized rate. The reading topped the 313,000 forecast by economists. October sales registered at a revised rate of 307,000. The report adds to hopes that the housing market is bottoming out and may be headed toward a recovery.
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