Stock Market News Today, Dec. 27: U.S. stocks are yet again forging higher in this post-Christmas holiday. As of 10:30 a.m., the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 22.5 points, or 0.14%, at 16,502.38. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index is up just 1.89 points, or 0.10%, at 1,843.91. The Nasdaq is up 2.70, or 0.06%, at 4,169.88.
This follows the Dow's 50th record close of the year Thursday, at 16,479.88. The Dow climbed 122 points yesterday, bringing its year-to-date gain to 25.8%. The S&P 500 closed at a record high of 1,842.02, and the Nasdaq hit a 13-year high at 4,167.18.
The stock rally this week is driven in part by the U.S. Labor Department's weekly jobless claims data that revealed jobless claims fell by the most in a year, dropping 42,000 to 338,000 last week. The report also triggered a decline in U.S. Treasury bond prices, including the 10-year bonds with their yield up 0.4%, hitting 3% for the first time in about two months.
Gold prices closed up yesterday, likely on increased demand on price weakness in Asia. Gold for February delivery was up about 0.7%, closing at $1,212.30 per ounce. Silver for March delivery was up about 1.8% to $19.92 per ounce.
Delays in UPS Inc. (NYSE: UPS) deliveries caused a stir yesterday, although the stock did hit a new 52-week high of $104.90. The delays have caused some retailers to issue refunds and gift certificates to customers.
For example, Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS) has announced that it will pay the full cost of all goods that arrive late. And Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) is offering $20 gift certificates and refunds on shipping charges for gifts that arrived past Christmas.
But in all, this holiday season was a boon for online companies like Amazon, with shares getting a strong boost from holiday sales. Amazon reports it raked in another 1 million Amazon Prime customers during the third week in December.
Amazon said the 2013 holiday season was its best ever, with more than 36.8 million items ordered worldwide on Cyber Monday.
Stock Market News: Tesla, Twitter Post Big Gains
Among other stocks noting significant gains this week, Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) shares are up about 8.5% on big news for the company...
On Tuesday, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reaffirmed its 5-star rating for the 2014 Tesla Model S.
While Tesla has been embroiled in an investigation into whether its vehicles are prone to fires, this rating reveals that NHTSA believes the cars are among the country's safest.
Tesla also says today it is focusing 2014 growth strategies in "first-tier cities" in China with more showrooms.
And Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) stock is up nearly 60% since it started trading in November. The stock this week is continuing momentum from a rally Tuesday in which Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) announced that Twitter chairman and co-founder Jack Dorsey joined its board.
Finally, Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) is also getting back on track as the mega retailer dispels rumors that the hackers who nabbed credit card information from consumers over the holidays also stole bank PINs.
Blackberry Ltd. (Nasdaq: BBRY) is regaining traction today, up 4.5% after slipping about 10% Thursday. Shares fell after Blackberry's co-founder and CEO Mike Lazaridis abandoned a potential takeover plan, Bloomberg reported.
Lazaridis also dropped his stake in the company by $26 million to now hold 26.3 million shares, about 4.99% of outstanding shares.
And shares of hhgregg Inc. (NYSE: HGG) are down about 2.5% today after a 2.5% fall yesterday, when the company announced its chief operating officer is resigning. Jeremy Augilar, who also serves as secretary, will resign effective Jan. 31 to take a similar role at another company. hhgregg said it's searching for a new financial chief.
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