The market is heading into end of the year on a strong note. The Dow is up about 4.8 percent for December and 10.6 percent for the year-to-date. For the month, the S&P 500 rose 6.27 percent, while it was up 12.51 percent for the year-to-date. The Nasdaq was up 6.78 percent for December, and 17.56 percent for the year-to-date.
The dollar gained slightly against a basket of currencies, as the euro fell amid news that China supports Europe's actions to contain sovereign debt troubles. Meanwhile, Moody's warned it may downgrade Portugal's debt rating.
The modestly stronger dollar didn't hurt commodities, including materials stocks and gold, which was up to more than $1,388 an ounce. The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index rose. Oil prices, too, closed above $89 a barrel, supported by cold weather, forecasts of a drop in inventories and expectation of stronger U.S. gasoline demand.
Materials and industrials were the day's winners with shares of Rio Tinto , Posco and Caterpillar trading higher.
The market is also rallying on the heels of reports of robust holiday retail sales, said Art Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies.Page 2 of 7 | Prev Page | Next Page