An improving U.S. economy continues to fuel stock market gains,
with a larger-than-expected drop in first-time unemployment claims
again nudging stock indices to record highs. Shares of consumer
discretionary companies are again outperforming thanks to a modest
rise in the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort index and resilience in
retail stocks as a result of healthy Christmas spending. But
utilities and financial stocks are struggling with the continued
rise in Treasury yields luring yield-hungry investors away from
interest-rate sensitive equities and into the government bond
Following upbeat data on durable goods orders and the housing
earlier this week, the three major indices are all holding
respectable gains this morning thanks to a 42,000 decline in
initial claims, beating estimates for a 39,000 drop. Volume remains
thin, however, and stocks have settled into a razor-thin range this
Most European markets, including the UK's FTSE and German DAX
were closed today for the Boxing Day holiday.
Crude oil was up $0.23 to $99.45 per barrel. Natural gas was
down $0.02 to $4.42 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $9.10 to
$1,212.40 an ounce, while silver was up $0.45 to $19.93 an ounce.
Copper was up $0.01 to $3.39 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 0.42% to
$35.64 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 0.06% to
$21.77. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold
Miners ETF was p 0.86% to 21.11 while SPDR Gold Shares were up
0.73% to $116.97. The iShares Silver Trust was up 2.24% to
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index up 31.70 (+0.31%) to 10316.10
Dow Jones Industrial Average up 75.99 (+0.46%) to 16433.54
S&P 500 up 5.10 (+0.28%) to 1838.42
Nasdaq Composite Index up 8.30 (+0.20%) to 4163.71
Nasdaq Composite Index +0.20%
Nikkei 225 Index up 1.03%
Hang Seng Index up 1.13%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 1.58%
FTSE 100 Index up 0.23%
CAC 40 up 0.07%
DAX up 0.94%
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index up 0.43%
NYSE Financial Sector Index up 0.24%
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index up 0.27%
(+) IFON, (+32.5%) Stock continues to climb after the company
signed a non-exclusive distribution agreement with Ingram Micro
(+) AEZS, (+11.3%) Shares rise for a fifth day, moving past
their 50-day moving average at $1.29.
(+) SPCB, (+6.9%) The company has completed the acquisition of
the Smart ID division from On Track Innovations.
(-) ORMP, (-19.2%) The company enters into definitive agreements
with investors to purchase an aggregate of 1.58 million shares of
its common stock at $10.00 each in a registered direct
(-) BBRY, (-3.6%) Co-founder and former CEO Mike Lazaridis walks
away from a possible takeover bid, reducing his stake in the
struggling smartphone maker.
(-) HHG,(-2.7%) CFO and Secretary Jeremy J. Aguilar is
resigning, effective Jan. 31, to pursue a similar role at another
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