Posted By RichC on January 6, 2006
I haven’t written much on the markets, but will note that the Dow closed at a 4-1/2 year high, just under the 11,000 mark at 10,959.31 today. It was the fourth up day in a row and marks a positive tone for the new year. I suspect that investors and trader alike are sensing an end to the Feds interest raising cycle as news indicates stability in the economy.
The Labor Department said early on Friday that U.S. employers added 108,000 new jobs in December, and that the unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent from 5 percent in November. These figures were lower than most analyse expected and viewed as a sign the labor market was not overheating.
U.S. stocks extended their new year rally on Friday, pushing major indexes to their highest closes in 4 1/2 years, as news of lower-than-expected job growth fueled optimism about an end to interest-rate hikes soon.
For the week, the Dow rose 2.25 percent, S&P gained 2.97 percent and Nasdaq rose 4.55 percent. Most stocks across markets benefitted from the optimism as advancing stocks surpassed declining stocks 2 to 1 on the Nasdaq and 3 to 1 on the NYSE. Interestingly the Nasdaq also broke above its May 2001 mark at 2,300.