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US Stock Markets Cap Off Solid 2013 Trading Year

Published by: Ronnie on 31st Dec 2013 | View all blogs by Ronnie
US Stock Markets Cap Off Solid 2013 Trading Year
US stock indexes rose Tuesday on the heels of a better-than-expected consumer confidence report as they moved through the final session of the year, poised to finish off the best year for US stocks in nearly a decade.  With about four hours left in the year's final trading session, all three major US stock indexes were up for the day, and all three were on pace for their best years in recent memory.  Should the indexes hold steady or gain in the final hours, the Nasdaq would finish off its best year since 2009, the S&P 500 will cap off its best trading year since 1997, and the Dow Jones industrial average would conclude its best twelve months since 1995.

As is typical for the final trading days of a given year, volume was extremely light as the year wound down.  What little traders that were active, however, appeared to welcome the Conference Board's reading on consumer sentiment, as all three indexes climbed on the news.  The group said that its index of overall consumer attitudes rose to 78.1 in November from an upwardly revised final reading of 72.0 in October.  The reading also surpassed Wall Street expectations, as a group of economists in a recent FactSet survey projected a reading of 76.0, on average.  Another report on Tuesday showed that US home values edged up 0.2 percent from October to November, posting their biggest year-over-year jump in over seven years.
While the gains made by US stocks in the final week of trading were modest, they still added to solid years for the major indexes.  The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite has risen an impressive 38 percent for the year ending Tuesday, while the S&P has gained nearly 30 percent and the Dow has increased just over 26 percent.  All three finished up the year on a solid note, gaining between 2 and 3 percent since December began.  Markets will be closed Wednesday, in observance of the New Year's Day holiday, so the 2014 trading year will begin in earnest on Thursday, January 2nd.



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