The broad indices all ended with solid gains, following heavy losses over the previous two sessions, on a day with plenty of mixed economic news. The KBW Bank Index rose 0.9% to 68.54, with all but three of the 24 component stocks ending with gains.
The Census Bureau's initial estimate of new orders for manufactured durable goods in December was $229.3 billion, a decline of 4% from November. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had on average estimated the durable goods number for December would rise 2% from November, based in part on a high level of year-end orders for Boeing (BA) and a removal of the uncertainty because of the budget deal in Congress.
In fact, the Census Bureau said that the decline in durable goods orders was led by transportation equipment, with orders declining 9.5% to $73.1 billion during December.
Excluding transportation orders, U.S. durable goods orders declined 1.6% during December. With transportation and defense orders excluded, durable goods orders were down 3.7%.
S&P Dow Jones Indices announced that the S&P Case-Schiller 10-City and 20-City Composite indices of home prices were both down 0.1% in November from October, for their first sequential declines since November 2012. The 10-City Composite was up 13.8% year-over-year, however, while the 20-City index Composite was up 13.7% from a year earlier.
Despite the slight decline in the two indices, November was a good month for home prices, according to David Blitzer, who chairs the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "[T]he 10-City and 20-City Composites showed their best November performance since 2005. Prices typically weaken as we move closer to the winter. Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Phoenix stand out as they have posted 20 or more consecutive monthly gains," Blitzer said in a press release.