The U.S. stock markets rallied as data from the Department of Labor showed that the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits declined last week.

market news Morning News

According to the agency, the number of jobless claims dropped by 42,000 to 338,000 for the week that ended December 21 compared with the estimated 345,000 jobless claims projected by 42 economists polled by Bloomberg.

Commenting on the positive movement of the markets, Jim Russell, senior equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management told Bloomberg, “The stock market is energized by the stronger macro trends that we’re seeing. The fundamentals are filling in for a market that has been primarily Fed-driven. We think that is a healthy and sustainable development that has some momentum into 2014.”

Last week, the Federal Reserve said it would reduce its $85 billion monthly bond-buying program since the economic growth is faster than projected. Stephane Ekolo, strategist at Market Securities in London said, “We are still seeing a bit of window dressing. The U.S. is doing better, the recovery is there. We’ve been playing the tapering news for some time, but the market has come to terms with the fact that it is a minor withdrawal of stimulus, and that in any case it means the economy is doing better. It is a good sign.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,479.88 (+0.75%)
  • S&P 500- 1,842.02 (+0.47%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,167.18 (+0.28%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,164.01 (+0.19%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3, 072.88 (+0.06%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,694.17 (+0.23%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,488.82 (+0.00%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 16, 174.44 (+1.03%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,179.55 (+1.13%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,265.33 (-1.73%)

Stocks in Focus


The stock price of eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) declined nearly 2% to $54.07 per share due to the report released by Channel Advisor indicating that the sales performance of the online retailer slowed down from Thanksgiving to December 22 with 9.6% sales increase. During the previous year from Thanksgiving to December 15, the company’s sales rose 20.9%.

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) gained 2.41% to $8.96 per share as data from a MasterCard Spending Pulse report indicated a significant increase in spending during this holiday season compared with last year.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)

The shares of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) climbed today, driven by reports that the electric car manufacturer is opening additional showrooms in China. The stock was also propelled by the NHTSA’s recent move in re-affirming the 5-star safety rating for the 2014 Model S vehicle. Deutsche Bank analyst Dan Galves also stated that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will have a “series of positive catalysts over the next several months that could lead to renewed confidence” in the earnings trajectory of the company.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)

The shares of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) gained almost 5% to $73.24 per share on report that the micro-blogging company will be able to generate addition advertising revenue. A survey from IZEA indicated that the number of marketers using sponsored tweets climbed to 52% this year.