Stocks rise to records amid consumer confidence, home data

U.S. stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index poised for its biggest annual advance since 1997, as data showed consumer confidence increased in December and housing prices jumped in October. More

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Stocks rise to records amid consumer confidence, home data

Posted 12/31/13

NEW YORK – U.S. stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index poised for its biggest annual advance since 1997, as data showed consumer confidence increased in December and housing prices jumped in October.

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. climbed 8.1 percent to an all-time high after saying it adopted a one-year shareholder-rights plan. Marvell Technology Group Ltd. rose 6 percent after KKR Fund Holdings disclosed a 6.8 percent stake in the chipmaker. Urban Outfitters Inc. fell 1 percent, extending its losses as the worst performer in an S&P 500 index of consumer-discretionary companies.

The S&P 500 added 0.3 percent to a record 1,847.21 at 12:36 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 57.60 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,561.89, also an all-time high. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was 38 percent below the 30-day average at this time of day.

“The market is up primarily for two reasons,” Aaron Izenstark, co-founder of Iron Financial LLC in Northbrook, Ill., said by phone. “Obviously, you’ve got the consumer confidence data. It’s also the last trading day of the year, and typically it’s reasonably positive if there’s no negative news. As people and firms shore up books for the end of the year, typically the market drifts higher.”

The S&P 500 has gained 2.3 percent in December, heading for its fourth straight monthly advance. The gauge climbed 3.7 percent from Dec. 13 through Dec. 27, its biggest two-week rally since July, as the Federal Reserve announced plans to reduce the pace of bond buying amid faster-than-estimated economic growth.

Annual gain

The equities benchmark has jumped 30 percent this year. Three rounds of Fed stimulus, known as quantitative easing, have sent the S&P 500 up 173 percent from a 12-year low in 2009.

Data on Tuesday showed the Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence in the U.S. rose to 78.1 in December from 72 in the prior month, the New York-based private research group said. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a reading of 76.

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