The holiday-shortened trading session on Tuesday saw the Dow
and S&P 500 extending their record runs propelled by
encouraging economic numbers. Higher orders for manufactured
goods, encouraging new home sales and a report which revealed
that corporates were investing at a rapid pace in their
businesses acted as gifts on Christmas Eve. Volumes were among
the lowest for the year on Tuesday and are expected to remain low
through this week. Materials stocks were among the leading
AIR PRODS & CHE (APD): Free Stock Analysis
BEAZER HOMES (BZH): Free Stock Analysis
DU PONT (EI) DE (DD): Free Stock Analysis
D R HORTON INC (DHI): Free Stock Analysis
DOW CHEMICAL (DOW): Free Stock Analysis
FREEPT MC COP-B (FCX): Free Stock Analysis
HOVNANIAN ENTRP (HOV): Free Stock Analysis
LENNAR CORP -A (LEN): Free Stock Analysis
PULTE GROUP ONC (PHM): Free Stock Analysis
PPG INDS INC (PPG): Free Stock Analysis
PRAXAIR INC (PX): Free Stock Analysis Report
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Ahead of Wall Street
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4% to end at 16,357.55.
The Standard & Poor 500 was up 0.3% to 1,833.32. Tech-laden
Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 4,155.42, up 0.2%. The
fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index dropped 4.3% to 12.48. In the
slowest trading session of the year, around 1.3 billion shares
were traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Advancers outpaced
the decliners on the NYSE, as for 64% stocks that moved up, 33%
ended in the red.
Trading took place till1 pm ahead of the Christmas holiday, but
that was enough for benchmarks to sign off with new records. The
Dow has now extended its record run into a fifth consecutive
session. For the S&P 500, it was the third-straight finish at
a record high. The record run has now almost ensured that
benchmarks will finish the year with multi-year record highs. The
24.8% gain this year so far places Dow on course for the best
yearly performance since 2003. The S&P 500 has so far gained
28.6% and looks set to notch up its best year since 1997. The
Nasdaq looks on track for its best finish since 2009 as it has
now gained 37.6%.
Helping the benchmarks move north on Tuesday were economic
numbers. The U.S. Census Bureau noted that new orders for
manufactured durable goods jumped 3.5% in November to $241.6
billion. The jump comfortably outperformed the consensus estimate
of a 1.9% gain and also rebounded from a 0.7% decline in October.
Moreover, core capital goods order jumped 4.5% in November, the
highest since January. This is a key barometer indicating
investments by the private-sector businesses. Thus, a report that
the American corporates were investing at a fast pace brought a
lot of cheer to the markets.
These numbers meant materials stocks lead the day's gains. The
Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) gained 1.1% and stocks like E.
I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE:
), The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:
), Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:
), Praxair Inc. (NYSE:
), PPG Industries Inc. (NYSE:
) and Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (NYSE:
) gained 1.7%, 1.2%, 1.6%, 0.8%, 1.1% and 0.2%, respectively.
The joint release by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of
Housing and Urban Development noted that sales of new
single-family houses have dropped 2.1% from the revised October
rate of 474,000 to a seasonally adjusted rate of 464,000 in
November. Nonetheless, the figure was 16.6% above Nov 2012
figures and also outpaced the consensus estimate of a drop to
440,000. Further, what boosted sentiment was that the government
revised last three months' new home sales figure upwards.
Also, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported a 0.5% jump in
home prices in October from September. Compared on annual basis,
home prices were up 8.2%.
Some homebuilding stocks surged, riding on the report and the
upward revision in home sales figures. Among the gainers, Lennar
), Beazer Homes USA Inc. (NYSE:
), DR Horton Inc. (NYSE:
), PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:
) and Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (NYSE:
) jumped 0.6%, 2.7%, 0.8%, 0.1% and 1.0%, respectively.