The stock markets in the United States gained today. The Dow Jones and the S&P 500 closed at record levels. Investors are optimistic that the U.S. economy is strong enough to withstand any weakness overseas.

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In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Richard Sichel, chief investment officer at Philadelphia Trust Co., said, “Economic numbers in general have been good. It could be a good retail season, and low gas prices are making a difference.”

Yesterday, the Department of Commerce reported that the U.S. GDP climbed at an annual rate of 3.9% for the third quarter. The Consumer Confidence Index was 88.7% in November. Americans believed that their financial situation improved heading towards the holiday shopping season.

A separate report from the Department of Labor reported that the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits increase to 313,000 for the week ended November 22.

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The S&P 500 climbed 11% from its low level last month, and closed at a third straight record on November 24. The index is heading for its second monthly gain as economic data showed a stronger economy in the United States. The central banks in China, Japan and Europe expanded their stimulus programs.

The U.S. stock market will be closed on Thursday, and will be opened on Friday for a half-session.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,827.63 (+0.07%)
  • S&P 500- 2,072.79 (+0.28%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,787.32 (+0.61%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,190.56 (+0.36%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,226.08 (-0.00%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,726.17 (-0.03%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,915.56 (+0.55%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 17,383.58 (-0.14%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 24.111.98 (+1.12%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,723.02 (+1.39%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Analog Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADI) increased 5.45% to $54.53 per share after reporting financial results that beat the consensus estimates of Wall Street analysts. The company posted & non-GAAP earnings of $0.69 per share in $814 million in revenue compared with the $0.68 in earnings per share on $804.58 million in revenue estimated by analysts for the fourth quarter.

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) gained more than 4% to $39.16 per share after reporting quarterly results in line with estimates. The stock climbed due to a report released by Raymond James analyst, Brian Alexander indicating that the company’s margin may benefit from a restructuring plan such as a spinoff of its PC and printer operation into a stand-alone company.

The shares of Seadrill Ltd (NYSE:SDRL) plummeted more than 22% to $15.99 per share after the company decided to suspend its dividend due to the weakening demand for rigs caused by the decline of oil prices.

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