The Fed-fueled Santa rally roars on, with the S&P 500 reaching a record close and the Dow Jones industrial nearing 18,000. Shartia Brantley reports.
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And the Santa rally rolls on, as U.S. stocks rose for a fourth straight session - the S&P 500 closing at a record high, led by large-cap technology stocks and the Dow Jones index closing roughly 40 points away from 18,000.
S&P Capital IQ U.S. equity strategist Sam Stovall:
SOUNDBITE: SAM STOVALL, U.S. EQUITY STRATEGIST, S&P CAPITAL IQ (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"I think because recently, the Fed did not pull away the punch bowl; they actually spiked the punch. I think that's going to help with this Santa Claus rally. Traditionally, we end up with a mid-December low that then does get followed by a end-of-year rally, and maybe that will push the S&P 500 to around 2100."
Stocks didn't get much help from data on U.S. home sales, which dropped to a six-month low in November after surging two straight months.
Investors are betting big on Caesar's Entertainment. The world's largest gaming company is buying its affiliate, Caesars Acquisition, driving both stocks sharply higher. Caesar's Entertainment is making the move to restructure its debt just when casinos are facing slower growth.
Gilead Sciences the biggest loser on the S&P in heavy volume. Pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts is in most cases dropping coverage of Gilead's hepatitis C drug, replacing it with a cheaper one from AbbVie. That move boosted shares of Enanta Pharmaceuticals, which helped develop the AbbVie treatment.
Taser shares rise after Oppenheimer starts coverage of the electrical weapons maker with an outperform rating, calling it a "shockingly strong story." It just received orders for more than 1,800 smart weapons from police in Ontario, Canada.
Santa Claus is making his mark in Europe, where stocks rose for the fifth straight session. German stocks led the advance.
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