Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stocks Hit Highest Level in 2 Years

Finally, some good news on the economy to report! When Obama signed the tax compromise deal it sent Stocks to their highest levels in 2 years. The S&P 500 gained 1.3% for the week. Is this the beginning of the end of our tough times?

From USA

    An encouraging trade report and signs that a tax cut package would pass the Senate sent stocks to their highest levels in two years Friday. Bond prices fell for another day as investors expected the tax deal to lead to economic growth and higher budget deficits.

    The Commerce Department reported that the U.S. trade deficit fell to its lowest level in nine months in October. Growing demand for American goods overseas pushed exports to their highest level in more than two years.

    Separately, the Treasury Department said the federal government's budget shortfall hit $150.4 billion in November. Treasury prices dropped after the report was released, pushing their yields higher. The yield for the 10-year note rose to 3.33%, up from 3.21% late Thursday.

    The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 7.40, or 0.6%, to 1,240.40. It was the third straight day that the S&P index closed at a new high for the year. The index has gained 11.2% this year and is now trading at the same price it did the week before Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in September 2008.

    The Dow Jones industrial average rose 40.26, or 0.4%, to 11,410.32. General Electric led the 30 stocks that make up the index with a 3.4% jump to $17.72. GE said it planned to raise its dividend by 17%.

    The Nasdaq composite index rose 20.87, or 0.8%, to 2,637.54.

    The Dow was the weakest of the three main stock average for the week, gaining just 0.3%. The S&P 500 added 1.3% and the Nasdaq rose 1.8%.

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