Wednesday, November 21, 2012
U.S. stocks made small gains Wednesday on extremely light volume ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. The S&P 500 added 0.2% and the NASDAQ 0.3%. Overnight European finance minister failed to agree on a debt reduction package for Greece and hence did not release a new tranche of bailout funds for the country but investors shook that news off. Another meeting is scheduled for Monday.
- U.S., new jobless claims totaled 410,000 last week, but that number continued to be impacted by Sandy.
- Consumer sentiment rose to 82.7, according to the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey.The reading was below projections for 84.5.
- The Conference Board reported it’s likely the U.S. economy will continue to “modestly” expand through early 2013, with the board’s index of leading economic indicators rising 0.2% in October.
Oil rose 63 cents to $87.38 a barrel while gold gained $4.60 to $1,728.20 an ounce. Silver added $0.42 to $33.35.
Britain's FTSE 100 and the DAX in Germany added 0.1% and France's CAC 40 rose 0.4%.
- Reuters reported German Chancellor Angela Merkel had told lawmakers at a closed door meeting that lower interest rates and an expanded European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) could fill Greece's financing gap.
The Shanghai Composite gained 1.1% while Japan's Nikkei posted a 0.9% gain.