January 2, 2011 by staff
Indiana Unemployment, (AP) – Stocks plunged Thursday as investors in their positions at the end of the year. While U.S. markets fell slightly, stocks are set to end 2010 on an optimistic note: The S & P 500 and Dow Jones are both up 14 percent for the year after dividend thanks to record corporate profits. The Dow is back to levels not seen since August 2008, before the heat of the financial crisis, while the S & P may win the best December in 20 years.
Some investors took the last week of the month to sell their catch and profits. Others sell stocks or funds that have lost money in order to obtain tax benefits.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 15.67 points, or 0.1 percent, to 11,569.7. The S & P 500 fell 1.9, or 0.2 percent, to 1,257.88. The NASDAQ technology-based composite fell 3.95, or 0.2 percent, to 2,662.98.
Losses came on the market. Energy companies and telecommunications were the only ones among the 10 industry groups that make up the S & P index to post gains.
Alcoa Inc. rose 0.5 percent to 15.21 and directs the 30 stocks that make up the Dow. American Express has the largest loss, falling 0.8 percent to $ 42.51.
The week was marked by thin trading. Thursday was viewed by many as the last trading day of the note because traders even more are expected to show up on Friday, the last day of the year.
Investors have received positive economic news. The Labor Department said the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits for the first time fell to its lowest level in nearly two and a half years, a sign that the labor market is improving slowly. Applications fell from 34,000 to 388,000, the smallest number since July 2008.
The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for December showed that companies in the Midwest did better thananlysts expected. The index, which surveys business conditions in the states of Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, arrived with a reading of 68.6, up from 62.5 the previous month. Economists expected the index to fall to 61.
Home sales also fared well. The National Association of Realtors said the number of people who have signed contracts to purchase homes rose in November, the fourth increase since the signing of contracts has reached a low in June its index of sales contracts previously occupied homes rose 3.5 percent.
But with mortgage rates creeping, investors worried about its effect on sales at home. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose this week to 4.86 percent, the highest level in seven months.
U.S. Treasurys are also slightly lower, which led to a slight bump in yields. The yield of the benchmark bond to 10 years rose to 3.37 percent, up from 3.35 at the close on Wednesday.
Hand rise and fall were still on the New York Stock Exchange. Soil volume came to 507 million shares.
Copyright © 2011 the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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