Today was light on volume ahead of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but heavy on economic data.
Initial jobless claims were 4% below consensus at 316,000. Last week’s number was revised up to 326,000 from 323,000.
The November Chicago PMI came in at 63.0, beating expectations of 60.0.
October durable goods fell 2%, in line with Wall Street forecasts. However, for ex-transportation, the number fell 0.1% vs. an expected 0.5% gain.
November Michigan sentiment survey rose to 75.1, which was ahead of the 73.1 consensus.
And finally, October leading indicators rose 0.2% vs. expectations for a flat reading.
The data was good enough to drive another all-time high on the Russell 2000
(INDEXRUSSELL:RUT), and kept the S&P 500
(INDEXSP:.INX) within striking range of yesterday’s record high in that index.
The numbers also drove down US Treasury prices, though high-yield bonds were fractionally higher.
Over in Europe, ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio said that the eurozone economy has improved significantly over the past two years, though an ECB report said that risks still remain, including those related to a scaling back of QE in the US .
(NYSE:HPQ) rose 9.1% after reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and revenues. The stock was also upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Evercore.
(NASDAQ:AAPL) was also strong today, rising 2.4% on positive reports regarding iPhone 5S production and demand. The Wall Street Journal reported that contract manufacturer Foxconn boosted its output of iPhone 5S, which has shortened waiting times. Additionally, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster issued a report noting improved inventory levels within the US.
The solid tech news resulted in significant outperformance for the Nasdaq Composite
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC), which hit a new post-2000 high of 4045.81 just before the close.
On the negative side, energy stocks were weak on a decline in oil prices.
Tomorrow's Financial Outlook
Markets will be closed Thursday in observance of Thanksgiving.
On Friday, we will have an abbreviated trading session, with stock exchanges closing at 1:00 p.m. EST.
There are no US economic or earnings reports scheduled for Friday.
The Friday after Thanksgiving is typically a low-volume day as so many traders are out on vacation or out shopping. However, depending upon the news flow, the reduced liquidity could boost volatility.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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