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Jan 17, 2013
18 January 2013 Last updated at 00:26 GMT
January 17, 2013
By ASHLEY PARKER
As House Republicans gather Thursday for their annual retreat, they will try to map out an approach to coming confrontations with President Obama and Congressional Democrats.
January 17, 2013
Compiled 21:45 GMT
Compiled 21:45 GMT
By ADAM NOSSITER, ALAN COWELL and SCOTT SAYARE
Algerian forces assaulted a group of Islamist extremists with dozens of hostages in a gas field Thursday, killing many of the kidnappers and freeing many of their captives in a raid that left some hostages dead, the government announced.
By DECLAN WALSH
Muhammad Tahir-ul Qadri, the preacher turned political, ended his protest Thursday night after the government granted his party largely symbolic input into the country's electoral process.
By JOHN F. BURNS
Prime Minister David Cameron is heading for Amsterdam on Friday to set out his vision of a sharply whittled-down role for Britain in 21st-century Europe.
By PETER VAN AGTMAEL
David Seymour, known as Chim, didn't shine in the spotlight like his more famous Magnum colleagues. But a retrospective opening this week shows him to have been a master chronicler of 20th century Europe.
By JOHN HOWARD
If a right-wing Australian government supported by rural gun owners could successfully implement gun control, America's government can, too.
By ADAM NOSSITER, NEIL MacFARQUHAR and ALAN COWELL
Contradicting early French reports, officials said French forces had been involved in direct ground combat since just after landing last week.
By MARK MAZZETTI and ERIC SCHMITT
The rush of violent events has masked the fact that officials in Washington still have only an impressionistic understanding of the militant groups that have established a safe haven in Mali.
NYT | The Learning Network (January 17, 2013).: News and 'News Analysis': Navigating Fact and Opinion in The Times
January 17, 2013
The Learning Network
DealBook P.M. Edition (January 17, 2013).: White Collar Watch: Few Possibilities for Prosecution at JPMorgan
MarketWatch | Wall Street at Close Report (January 17, 2013).: Stocks rally; S&P 500 above five-year high
By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stock gains on Thursday propelled the S&P 500 index to its highest finish since late 2007 as upbeat jobs and housing reports offered respite from politics and other concerns.
“The fact that housing is so robust is really good, and jobless claims were a lot lower than expected,” said David Kelly, chief market strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds. Both data points “show an economy with a fair amount of momentum going into the new year, and that’s positive,” he added.
The Dow Jones Transportation Average DJT +0.66% hit a record high as investors adopted a ‘buy the break’ mentality. The index of 20 transport companies including shippers FedEx Corp. FDX +0.39% and United Parcel Service Inc. UPS +0.16% , as well as airlines and trucking firms, is viewed as an indicator of economic activity.
The gains came after data had housing starts rising more than anticipated and jobless claims dropping to a five-year low, helping propel home builders and other consumer-discretionary companies to robust gains.
Rising above the 1,474 resistance level, the S&P 500 index SPX +0.56% rallied 8.31 points, or 0.6%, to 1,480.94, its highest close since Dec. 26, 2007.
After a 122-point surge, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.63% ended at 13,596.02, up 84.79 points, or 0.6%.
The Nasdaq Composite index COMP +0.59% rose 18.46 points, or 0.6%, to 3,136.
Economic news buoyed the mood on Wall Street. The Commerce Department reported housing starts jumped 12.1% in December, the biggest gain since June 2008. Read: Housing starts jump in December.
“The residential data was a big surprise; we expected a gain, but we did not expect that gain,” said Elizabeth Ptacek, senior vice president and a senior credit real estate analyst at KeyBank.
Separately, the Labor Department reported applications for jobless benefits last week declined by 37,000 to 335,000, the lowest level since January 2008. Read: Initial jobless claims fall by 37,000.
The jobless-claims report “suggests that we’re likely to see nonfarm payrolls expand at perhaps a better rate than we’ve seen in recent months, and is keeping a bid in the market here,” said Eric Wiegand, portfolio manager at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.
“It’s a welcome reprieve from all of the concerns investors have been tracking regarding the activity or lack of activity in Washington,” he said.
“The labor and housing figures were really quite compelling and exceeded expectations rather handily in both cases,” Wiegand said of the data, which helped brighten views of the U.S. economy and diverted attention, even if only temporarily, from the coming debate in Washington over the debt ceiling and government spending.
House Republicans are mulling the idea of a short-term increase in the U.S. debt ceiling to allow for time to debate reduced government spending, Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan told reporters, according to media reports. The Wisconsin Republican spoke Thursday at a press conference outside Williamsburg, Va., where House Republicans are meeting to consider strategy. Read: Republicans eyeing short-term debt-limit increase, Ryan says.
“Ryan’s suggestion of a temporary extension should be regarded as a positive sign,” said Kelly at J.P. Morgan.
Not all of Thursday’s economic news was positive, however, with an index of manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region turning negative in January. Read: Negative reading for Philly Fed index in January.
For every stock falling more than three gained on the New York Stock Exchange, where 710 million shares traded. Composite volume neared 3.7 billion.
Dow gainers included Intel Corp. INTC -4.94% , up 2.6% after releasing fourth-quarter earnings just before the close. Read: Intel bulls should hope it made fewer chips.
Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO -0.38% fell 0.4% after J.P. Morgan reduced its rating to underweight from neutral. Read full story: Cisco cut as data-center business shifts.
Bank of America Corp. BAC -0.09% lost 4.2% after the lender reported a 63% decline in fourth-quarter profit. Read: Bank of America profit sinks 63%; billions in charges.
Boeing Co. BA +1.24% shares rose 1.2%, reversing losses that came after U.S. regulators ordered its global fleet of 787 Dreamliners grounded after one of the planes made an emergency landing, the latest in a series of mishaps.
Off the Dow, shares of CBS Corp. CBS +7.93% jumped 7.9% after the media company said it would convert its outdoor advertising unit to a real-estate investment trust and would solicit a buyer for the Asian and European portions of that business.
Citigroup Inc.’s C -2.92% shares fell 2.9% after the bank reported a profit rise that came in below estimates. Read: Citigroup profit jumps but mortgage issues linger.
EBay Inc. EBAY +0.04% rose 2.4% after the online auctioneer reported revenue that exceeded some Wall Street estimates. Read: eBay, Juniper highlight gains for tech stocks.
Shares of iPhone and iPad maker Apple Inc. AAPL -0.67% slipped 0.7%. Apple’s shares are down 3.4% so far this week following concerns about demand for the iPhone 5. Read: Why Apple needs a new hit product now.
The iPhone has recently assumed the boom-bust characteristics that have made investors especially jumpy. Read why Apple has been bruised by iPhone’s boom-bust cycle.
Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @MWKateGibson.