The stock markets in the United States rallied again today driven by data showing that consumer spending boosted the country’s economy. The gains in commodity shares also helped lift the equity markets.

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The Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at annual rate of 2% in the quarter driven by consumer spending. Economists polled by Bloomberg expected a GDP growth of 1.9%.

Tim Quinlan, an economist at Well Fargo Securities, commented, “Consumption is a big piece of it, and it’s chugging along.” He added, “It’s hard to be really enthusiastic about the outlook for trade and business investment” amid the slowing economic growth overseas.

On the other hand, Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors, said, the U.S. GDP continues to indicate that consumers are in reasonable shape and exports continue to struggle. “Most of the major data is behind us for this year, you’re going to see volumes continue to decline,” he added.

[drizzle]A separate report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed the sales of previously homes declined 10.5% to 4.76 million in November.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “November home sales without a doubt were heavily impacted by a new federal government rule regarding closing documents. Buying interest is there; it’s just that closings are not happening on a timely basis.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17, 418.48 (+0.97%)
  • S&P 500- 2,039.08 (+0.89%)
  • NASDAQ- 5,001.11 (+0.65%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,135.21 (+0.66%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,214.32 (+0.04%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,083.10 (+0.80%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 10,488.75 (-0.09%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 18,886.70 (-0.16%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 21,830.02 (+0.18%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,876.73 (+0.28%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Caterpillar climbed 4.86% to $68.41 per share despite a jury decision ordering the company to pay almost $74 million to a British supplier. The jury found that Caterpillar was guilty of stealing the trade secrets of the British supplier.

The shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill declined 5.06% to $495.62 per share as the company continues to suffer from the E. coli outbreak. Five people in Kansas, North Dakota, and Oklahoma became ill from an E.coli strain with a rare DNA fingerprint, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ford Motor Company gained 3.5% to $14.51 per share. The automaker was reported in talk with Alphabet to build a new generation of self-driving cars.

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