Closing Update: Markets Cap Winning Year With Higher Close; Most Sectors Rise As S&P 500 Has Best Year Since 1997

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Stocks finished 2013 on an upswing, withstanding some light profit-taking late to carry the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 to record highs. Gains were supported by new economic data showing a continued rebound in the housing market and consumer confidence rising back to pre-federal government shutdown levels. Most sectors in the S&P 500 were higher, led by a big advance for energy stocks despite crude oil again easing from its recent peak above $100 per barrel.

U.S. consumer confidence jumped this month, nearly returning to levels seen prior to the partial government shutdown in October as improving job prospects and economic growth bolstered consumer attitudes. The Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence rose to 78.1 in December, up from 72 in the previous month. November's figure was revised up from 70.4. The December increase followed three months of declines.

Also today, the S&P Case-Shiller home price index for 20 U.S. cities climbed 1.05% month-over-month during October. On a year-over-year basis, home prices were up 13.61% - the biggest gain since February 2006. Both figures topped market expectations, with experts polled by Thomson Reuters expecting a 0.95% month-over-month rise and a 13.45% year-over-year gain.

September figures also were revised slightly downward but still showed solid gains for the month.

Crude oil for February delivery settled 87 cents lower at $98.42 per barrel while February natural gas slid 20 cents to $4.23 per 1 million BTU. February gold fell $1.20 at $1,205.80 per ounce after earlier falling to a six-month low at $1,182. March silver was down 24 cents at $19.34 per ounce. March copper rose a penny to $3.40 per pound.

Here's where the U.S. markets stood at end-of-day:

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 72.37 (+0.44%) to 16576.66

S&P 500 up 7.29 (+0.40%) to 1848.36

Nasdaq Composite Index up 22.39 (+0.54%) to 4176.59

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng Index up 0.26%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.88%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.26%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) HTZ, Company takes on a 1-year poison pill. Analysts believe the move by the company could suggest activist involvement.

(+) ONVO, SeekingAlpha story late Monday said an investment in ONVO is better than an investment in 3D Systems ( DDD )

(+) CXM, Reports positive findings from its clinical study of Generx product candidate for coronary artery disease and of its Excellagen wound care product.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) UNXL, President and chief executive, Reed Killion, resigns from the company and its board to pursue other interests.

(-) STSI, Receives a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding Anatabloc and CigRx, which are marketed by the company.

(-) BORN, Company is contacted by the New York Stock Exchange regarding the unusual market activity in its American depository shares Tuesday.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: DDD

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