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Dec 19, 2016

Wall Steet at Close Report on December 19, 2016: Stocks Close Slightly Higher; Energy Weighs
Evelyn Cheng
U.S. stocks closed higher Monday as telecoms led and traders bought some recently less-favored sectors, while some top postelection plays lagged.

Telecommunications traded more than 1 percent higher, while real estate and tech were among the top advancers.
"It's just an overflow technically into equities and people are just trying to pick up what hasn't run up as much as the recent leaders," said Ilya Feygin, managing director and senior strategist at WallachBeth Capital. "The gains are becoming smaller and smaller."
Tech and real estate are among the greatest laggards in the S&P 500 since Election Day. The Nasdaq 100 hit a fresh all-time intraday high, while the three major indexes traded about half a percent below their record highs.
"We're still seeing a lot of consolidation. I think the path of least resistance is to the upside," said John Caruso, senior market strategist at RJO Futures. He expects the S&P 500 to rise about 2 percent between Monday and the end of the calendar year.
Exchange-traded product platform NYSE Arca temporarily suspended trading at 10:50 a.m., ET, due to a technical issue. Trading resumed shortly after 11 a.m.
In economic news, the flash U.S. Markit PMI services for December was 53.4, down slightly from 54.6 in November.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the U.S. has the strongest jobs market in nearly a decade, and there are indications wage growth is picking up. Yellen was speaking at a University of Baltimore commencement ceremony.
The Federal Reserve raised rates for the second time in a decade Wednesday, and surprised by forecasting three rate hikes for 2017, more than the consensus two.
Overseas, the Bank of Japan is set to conclude its two-day meeting on monetary policy Tuesday local time.

"People will probably be looking at the ... policy decisions from central banks. Specifically we get Bank of Japan tonight," said Ryan Larson, head of equity trading, U.S., at RBC Global Asset Management.
"As we probably see volume evaporate through the week ahead of the holiday it won't take much to push markets around, exacerbation of some moves," he said.
The Japanese yen gave up some ground against the U.S. dollar to trade near 117.2 yen, while the euro was near $1.042. The U.S. dollar index traded near 103 in afternoon trade.
Treasury yields were lower, with the 2-year yield near 1.22 percent and the 10-year yield around 2.55 percent in early afternoon trade.
Traders also monitored news that the Russian ambassador to Turkey died after being shot by a gunman at an art gallery in the Turkish capital. The Turkish lira fell to session lows against the U.S. dollar following the report, while the Russian rouble also weakened versus the greenback.
U.S. crude oil futures for January delivery settled up 22 cents, or 0.42 percent, at $52.12 a barrel.
Energy, the third best sector performer since the election, lagged the broader market Monday. Financials, the top sector since the election, attempted gains in afternoon trade.

The stock market is "going to be sort of sideways and slightly up into the year-end," said Marc Chaikin, CEO of Chaikin Analytics. "I'm not sure we're going to break out in a big way."


DJIA Dow Industrials 19883.54
40.13 0.20%
S&P 500 S&P 500 Index 2262.53
4.46 0.20%
NASDAQ NASDAQ Composite 5457.44
20.28 0.37%
In afternoon trade, the Dow Jones industrial average added 58 points, or 0.30 percent, to 19,902, with Microsoft the greatest advancer and Merck the greatest laggard.
The S&P 500 gained 7 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,265, with telecoms leading eight sectors higher and energy the greatest decliner.
The Nasdaq composite rose 31 points, or 0.57 percent, to 5,468.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded lower below 12.
About two stocks advanced for every decliner on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 414 million and a composite volume of 2.0 billion in afternoon trade.
Gold futures for February delivery settled up $5.30 at $1,142.70 an ounce.
On tap this week:

No reports expected
10:00 a.m. Existing home sales
8:30 a.m. Initial claims
8:30 a.m. Durable goods
8:30 a.m. Real GDP
9:00 a.m. FHFA HPI
10:00 a.m. Personal income
10:00 a.m. New home sales
10:00 a.m. Consumer sentiment
*Planner subject to change.