Wall Street Jumps to New Five Year High!

Market Summary

Despite weak earnings from financial giants Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and Citigroup (C), Wall Street jumped in trading Thursday. It looks like we could get a short term debt ceiling increase to eliminate the time market uncertainty as a more rational approach to spending is worked out. Economic data boosted market sentiment, with positive signs from the labor market and housing. After being up well over 100 points, the blue chips gave back some gains by the closing bell as financials weighed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at 13,596.02, up 84.79 points, or 0.6%. The S&P 500 index rallied 8.31 points, or 0.6%, to 1,480.94, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 18.46 points, or 0.6%, to 3,136.

Front month crude closed at a four month high. Light, sweet crude for February delivery closed up $1.25, or 1.3%, at $95.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold settled at its highest level in a month, adding $7.60, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,690.80 an ounce.

Economic Rundown

Housing starts in December rebounded a sharp 12.1 percent, following a dip of 4.3 percent the month before. The December starts pace of 0.954 million units topped analysts’ forecast for 0.887 million units and was up 36.9 percent on a year-ago basis. November was revised to 0.851 million units from the initial estimate of 0.861 million. The momentum was driven by both the single and multi-family component.

Jobless claims for the week ending January 12th declined by 37,000 to 335,000, the lowest level since January 2008. Premarket expectations were for a slight drop to 368,000. The four-week average is down 6,750 to 359,250 which is about 10,000 below the mid-December level.

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