Stocks rebounded from a week of mostly declines last week,
closing Monday with strong gains ahead of the Fed's start on
Tuesday of its final two-day policy-setting meeting of the year.
Advances today were supported by economic data pointing to growing
strength in many parts of the U.S. and global economies, although
the consensus appears to be the recent data has not been so good
that the Fed will decide to begin tapering its $85-billion monthly
bond purchases this week. Nearly all sectors in the S&P 500
posted gains today, led by industrial and energy stocks. Two
traditionally defensive sectors - consumer staples and healthcare -
Investors cheered another strong showing for global
manufacturing as measured by an early reading of activity this
month released today. Data provider Markit said its flash PMI
reading for the U.S., which is based on about 85% of usual monthly
survey replies, "improved solidly in December, despite the rate of
growth having eased slightly over the month."
The flash purchasing managers' index reading slipped to a 54.4
December reading from a 54.7 reading in November, which marked the
highest PMI mark since December 2012. Markit's Flash Eurozone
Composite PMI rose to 52.1 in December from 51.7 last month.
Readings above 50 indicate expansion.
Also today, U.S. industrial production in November topped its
pre-recession peak for the first time, surging a seasonally
adjusted 1.1% from October levels, according to the Fed, which
releases the report. That was the biggest jump in a year. A
separate study today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found
non-farm productivity jumped 3% during Q3.
Commodities also ended mostly higher, with crude oil for January
delivery rising 94 cents to settle at $97.47 per barrel. January
natural gas fell 10 cents to $4.26 per 1 million BTU. February gold
gained $9.80 to finish at $1,245.50 per ounce while March silver
added 50 cents to $20.10 per ounce. March copper gained 2 cents,
settling at $3.33 per pound.
Here's where the markets stood at end-of-day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average up 129.53 (+0.82%) to 15,884.89
S&P 500 up 11.23 (+0.63%) to 1,786.55
Nasdaq Composite Index up 28.54 (+0.71%) to 4,029.52
Hang Seng Index down 0.56%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 1.60%
FTSE 100 Index up 1.28%
(+) AGEN, Reports positive results from Phase II testing of its
Prophage Series G-200 brain-cancer vaccine, with 90% of patients
treated with Prophage were still alive six months after receiving
(+) LSI, Avago (
) offers to acquire the semiconductor and software designer for
$11.15 per share in cash - or about $6.6 billion overall.
(+) AER, Inks $5.4-billion deal with American International
) to purchase AIG's International Lease Finance Corp
(-) USU, Uranium miner reaches agreement with a majority of
holders of senior convertible notes and will replace $530 mln of
the notes maturing October 2014 with new debt and equity. Expects
to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition during Q1 of 2014.
(-) TTMI, Announces plans for a $150-million offering of
convertible senior notes due 2020.
(-) WPCS, Fiscal Q2 revenue declines 7.8% year over year to
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