Closing Update: Stocks Close Quiet Session With Moderate Gains; Dow, S&P 500 Again Finish at Record Highs

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Stocks closed higher Thursday, maintaining their advance into record territory supported by more signs the U.S. economy continues to improved. The Labor Department today reported a 42,000 decline in initial jobless claims last week, more than estimates for a 39,000 drop. Volume was thin in the post-holiday session with gains led by shares of energy companies as crude settled within 45 cents of $100 per barrel.

Most industry sectors in the S&P 500 ended in the black today, at yet another record high. Utility stocks were a notable exception, however, with the continued rise in Treasury yields luring investors away from interest-rate sensitive equities.

Market moving economic news again will be light the rest of this week, with only the Energy Information Agency tomorrow releasing delayed weekly inventory reports tomorrow at 11 a.m. ET.

Commodities were mostly higher. Crude oil for February delivery settled 33 cents higher at $99.55 per barrel while January natural gas was up 2 cents to $4.43 per 1 million BTU. February gold rose $8.70 to $1212 per ounce while March silver added 44 cents to $19.91 per ounce. March copper rose 3 cents to $3.40 per pound.

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

Dow Jones Industrial Average up

S&P 500 up

Nasdaq Composite Index up

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng Index up 1.13%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 1.58%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.23%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) TSLA, ChinaDaily discusses the electric car's plan to expand in first-tier Chinese cities.

(+) SPCB, Completes Smart ID acquisition, forming a company with $26.2 mln in combined 2012 pro-forma revenue and EPS of $0.88.

(+) HITK, Agrees to $25 mln settlement with State of Texas over product prices. Amount had previously been set aside.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) BBRY, co-founder and former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis sells nearly 3.17 million shares for $7.63 each. He still owns around 26.3 million shares, or about 4.99% of the company's stock.

(-) ORMP, Enters into definitive agreements with certain investors to buy 1.58 million shares of common stock at $10.00 apiece in a registered direct offering.

(-) HGG, Jeremy Aguilar resigns as the Chief Financial Officer at the electronics retailer, effective Jan. 31, 2014. Andrew Giesler, senior vice president for finance, named interim CFO.



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

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