Jan. 3 - Summary of business headlines: Stocks jump in first 2012 session; Fed minutes to reveal new transparency; Crude oil rises; Key political contest underway. Bobbi Rebell reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS 4:3 MATERIAL It was a New Year's rally on Wall Street. Stocks kicked off 2012 with gains across all the major indexes. In minutes from its December meeting, the Federal Reserve said will begin publishing forecasts on its gameplan for future interest rates later this month. It also said officials would provide forecasts for the first rate hike. Encouraging data on the U.S. manufacturing sector helped Wall Street's mood. Growth accelerated in December, its best month since June. A rise in new orders suggested the economy gained momentum at the end of 2011. Separately, construction spending in November surged to its highest level in nearly 18 months. Crude oil prices jumping more than four percent. At the New York Mercantile Exchange, futures settled just under $103 a barrel. Tensions continue to rise between the U.S. and Iran which has threatened to block a key oil shipping route. Mark Martov of the Spartan Commodity Fund says the threat of closing down the strategic Strait of Hormuz is serious: SOUNDBITE: MARK MARTOV, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, SPARTAN COMMODITY FUND (ENGLISH) SAYING: "That would be drastic to crude prices. I mean we are not we are not even talking $110. I would see probably a $20 boost in crude oil prices if they actually closed down the Straight of Hormuz. " High stakes for Republican Presidential hopefuls in the United States. They are fighting it out in the Iowa caucuses - the first of the state by state 2012 contests to choose a Republican party nominee. Finishing in the top spot could provide a boost to any contender in the battle to choose a challenger to President Obama in the November 6th election. Taking a look at the closing numbers: a strong start to the New Year with gains across the board. And in Europe stocks rose to their highest close in five months thanks in part to strong manufacturing data from both the U.S. and China. Bobbi Rebell, Reuters.