Dec. 31 - Summary: Stocks end 2013 at record highs; Consumer confidence on the rise; Home prices rise less than forecasts; More job cuts at HP; Hertz shares jump. Bobbi Rebell reports.
The final trading day of the year was a one for the record books. The Dow hitting yet another all time high- its best year performance since 1995. The S&P 500 for the year turning in its best run since 1997. About 90 percent of the stocks in the S&P 500 closed the year higher- the most since they started keeping track back in 1980. Davidson Companies' Fred Dickson: SOUNDBITE: FRED DICKSON, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, DAVIDSON COMPANIES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It seemed the U.S. stock market was one of the few places in the world that people were comfortable putting investment funds. So let's credit 80% to the fed, 20% to better than expected economic numbers and maybe the last 3-4 percent to a reduction in the market's fear factor." In their final trading day of 2013- all the major indexes had winning days- in part because of some better than expected economic data. Consumer confidence rose to 78.1- that is better than forecasts. The industry group behind the data- The Conference Board -said consumers were more optimistic about the job market. U.S. single family homes posted their strongest annualized gain in more than 7 years- though it was a smaller rise than had been expected- that according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index. Mortgage rates have been on the rise. In 2013 bond yields had their first annual rise since 2009. But the ISM Chicago business barometer fell in November- and was below forecasts- though it still indicated expansion in the region's manufacturing sector. In corporate news: Hewlett Packard announced an additional 5 thousand job cuts- bringing the total number of layoffs to 34,000- that is 11 percent of its workforce. And shares of Hertz jumped on a report from CNBC that activist investor Daniel Loeb's company Third Point Capital has taken a stake of less than 5 percent in the car rental company. In Europe: shares were mostly stronger on the last trading day of what was a great 2013. For the year pan-European indexes posted their best annual gains since 2009.