Stocks Post First 2014 Gains as Health Care Surges
- The S&P 500 rose 0.61% to 1,837.88 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.64% to 16,530.94, and the Nasdaq jumped 0.96% to 4,153.18.
- Tenet Health (THC) was a key gainer in the S&P 500, rising 4.9% to $46.11. Health companies are seen as beneficiaries of an improving unemployment rate, which is expected to see a fall in delayed medical procedure. UnitedHealth (UNH) popped 3% to $76.50 after being upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Deutsche Bank.
- The November U.S. trade deficit fell to $34.3 billion from $39.3 billion in October and beat expectations. As exports rose, oil imports fell to their lowest level in three years.
- "With real consumption growth set to come in at around 4% and business investment showing signs of a rebound, overall fourth-quarter GDP growth was probably 3%, if not higher," Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics told clients in a note.
- S&P 500 Winner & Loser: Flir Systems (FLIR) was the top percentage gainer in the S&P, popping 9.7% to $31.80 a share. GameStop (GME) was the worst performer in the S&P, tumbling 8.4% to $44.15.
- Eurozone inflation fell to 0.8% year on year. Low inflation could put pressure on the ECB to respond with stimulus. The region's central bank meets on Thursday.
- German unemployment fell by 15,000 to 2.965 million against expectations for no change.
- Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said Tuesday that the central bank should wind down its stimulus programs very gradually. He was the lone dissenter against the Fed's December taper decision.
- JPMorgan (JPM) will pay $1.7 billion to settle criminal charges that it ignored signs of Madoff's Ponzi scheme as its banker, according to federal authorities. It was the leading laggard in the Dow near midday, shedding 1.2% to $58.35.
- Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (GT) rose 1.3% to $24.06 after two company managers were released after being held hostage overnight in a factory in France by about 100 heated workers.
- Germany's DAX rose 0.83%, while the FTSE added 0.36%.
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