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US Stock Market Overview – Stocks Rally and Finish the Year on a High Note

David Becker

US stocks finished the last day of the decade in the green. For the year, the US benchmark the S&P 500 notched up a 30% gain including dividends. The tech sector was the best forming sector for the year. All sectors were higher on the last trading day of 2019, driven by gains in energy. Industrials were the worst-performing sector. Gold prices moved higher as Iranian funded militia tried to storm the US Embassy in the Iraqi capital, in an intensifying backlash against the US. US short-term yields moved lower, which has weighed on the US dollar, which declined to a 3-month low.

Chicago PMI Index Rose

The Chicago Purchasing Management Index rose to 48.9 in December from  46.2 in November and 43.2 in October. The October reading was the weakest since the end of 2015. The regional survey showed that new orders and employment fell at an even faster pace compared to the prior month, but those negatives were largely offset by improved but still soft production numbers.

Confidence Slips in December

The conference board reported that consumer confidence dipped slightly in December. The index came in at 126.5 for the month, down from 126.8 in November. Expectations were for the consumer confidence reading to come in at 128.2 for December. The Conference Board also announced an upward revision to November’s reading.

Geopolitics Buoys Miners

Gold miners were buoyed by an increase in gold prices as geopolitics reared its ugly head. Gold prices moved higher as Iranian funded militia tried to storm the US Embassy in the Iraqi capital, in an intensifying backlash against the US. after it conducted deadly strikes on the group. Video and photos from the scene showed the blast walls surrounding the compound were on fire. The protesters flew the flag of Kataib Hezbollah, which the U.S. has blamed for a recent spate of rocket attacks targeting Iraqi base.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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