NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jan 23, 2013) - A string of positive economic data helped propel the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 Index to five-year highs last week. The Dow's and S&P 500's weekly gain of 1.2 percent and 1 percent, respectively, were the third consecutive week of gains. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in the S&P 500 Index and provides equity research on Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (
A steadily improving U.S. housing market combined with a 5-year low in jobless claims has helped boost investor optimism heading into 2013. Last week, the Labor Department reported initial claims for unemployment benefits declined 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted total of 335,000, which was the largest weekly drop in nearly 2 years. Strong earnings from major companies such as Alcoa and General Electric have also contributed to the market's recent surge. Collectively, companies in the S&P 500 Index are projected to report a 3.8% earnings growth in the fourth quarter, according to S&P's Capital IQ.
"The economy is entering the year maybe not with a running start, but certainly a head start," Jack Ablin, BMO Private Bank's chief investment officer, said in a recent telephone interview, according to Bloomberg. "It helps build a nice story for 2013."
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Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold holds a dynamic portfolio of operating, expansion and growth projects in the copper industry and is the world's largest producer of molybdenum. The company reported a net income of $743 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, an increase of 16 percent when compared to the fourth quarter of 2011.
Verizon Communications is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. The company reported that for full year 2012 revenues totaled $115.8 billion, an increase of 4.5 percent when compared to a year ago.
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