U.S. Markets closed

Stocks Higher After Data

Kevin O'Shaughnessy

U.S. Market
Stocks were up at midday as investors focused on data ahead of the Christmas holiday Wednesday.

The Commerce Department reported that personal-spending levels rose at their fastest pace in five months in November, with a 0.5% month-to-month increase. The monthly gain was in line with expectations, but personal-income levels, with a 0.2% monthly increase, fell short of economists' forecasts.

Also recording data from November, the Chicago Fed said its National Activity Index for the month increased to 0.60 from October's reading of negative 0.07. The three-month moving average increased to 0.25 from 0.12, marking its best reading since February 2012 and indicating growing economic strength in the country.

The Thomson-Reuters/University of Michigan final consumer sentiment index for December remained at 82.5 from the early-December reading, though still higher from November's reading. The index was slightly short of economists' expectations, but many of the subindexes remained strong.

The Dow and the S&P 500 were up by 0.5% at midday, and the Nasdaq was 0.9% higher.

Stocks on the Move
Corporate news flow was slow Monday, as was trading volume.

Foreign Markets
Stocks in Asia were higher, with the Shanghai Composite gaining 0.2%, and the Hang Seng rising 0.5%. Markets in Japan were closed.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 was 1.1% higher. The Paris CAC had gained 0.5%, and the DAX was up by 0.9%.