The S&P 500 closed up 0.4% to 1,848.36. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.44%, to 16,576.66. The Nasdaq added 0.54% to 4,176.59. Following the S&P's record gains, the Dow surged 28.1% and the Nasdaq popped 41.1% in 2013.
The S&P Case-Shiller home price index showed home prices across 20 metropolitan U.S. areas in October rose 13.6% from a year earlier. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting a 13.5% rise. The Institute for Supply Management reported that its December business conditions index for the Chicago area hit 59.1, vs. a 60.8 forecast.
The Conference Board reported December consumer confidence surged to 78.1, up from a prior reading of 70.4. Economists predicted a rise to 76.0.
"That's a huge number," Darrell Cronk, regional chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank, said in a phone interview from New York. "It's a good way to close out the year."
The S&P 500 has risen 29% during 2013, and with light volumes expected to conclude the final trading day as most firms are squaring away their portfolios for the year.In company news, Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) revealed late Monday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that CEO Reed Hastings received $5.3 million from selling stock right after Christmas. The company also announced its so-called poison pill -- a plan to make activist shareholder takeovers more expensive -- would end Tuesday, which was two years ahead of schedule. Shares added 0.32% to $368.17.
Hertz (HTZ - Get Report) popped after it adopted a one-year shareholder rights plan to prevent outside investors from gaining control of the car rental company. Shares surged 10.5% to $28.62.
Shares of Phillips 66 (PSX - Get Report) rose after Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B - Get Report) said it would swap $1.4 billion of shares in the energy company to fully acquire its pipeline services arm. Shares settled up 3.2% to $77.13. -- Written by Joe Deaux in New York. >Contact by Email. Follow @JoeDeaux