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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.