Stocks exploded out of the gates and never looked back.
First the scoreboard:
And now the top stories:
- There was no obvious explanation for today's global rally. But many people seem to believe that optimism that we'll be able to avoid the "fiscal cliff" is increasing. Politico's Ben White has declared that "it's already over."
- The U.S. housing market continues to be one of the brightest spots in the global economy. Existing homes sales unexpectedly surged 2.1 percent in October to 4.79 million at an annualized rate. Economists were expecting a modest decline. The national median existing home price was $178,600, up 11.1 percent from a year ago.
- The NAHB homebuilder confidence index surged to 46 in October from 41 a month ago. This was the highest reading since May 2006. This is particularly exciting as it is a strong leading indicator of the housing markets' contribution to GDP.
- Also, according to Motley Fool's Morgan Housel, each new home built is responsible for the creation of two to three jobs.
- Apple was looking particularly shiny today, staging an "insanely insane" rally. According to Miller Tabak's Jonathan Krinsky, these big upward moves are pretty rare. Since 2003, Apple has booked a daily gain greater than 6.8 percent 22 times.
- Earlier today, Greece passed laws intended to enforce budget targets and pay down debt. The country appears to be getting closer to securing more desperately needed bailout funds.
- Elsewhere overseas, tensions remain high in the Gaza Strip as Israel continued to bomb areas suspected to be occupied by Hamas. However, talks of a ceasefire seem to be gaining traction. As such, the surge in oil prices today seems to be attributed more to an improving economy, rather than the risk of supply disruptions in the Middle East.
- In other news, Hostess and the bakers union agreed to mediation. In other words, the Twinkie, the Snoball, and a bunch of other iconic baked goods could be safe — for now.
- Don't Miss: 10 Big Stories That Investors Will Be Dealing With For Years >
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