Stock Market Update From Briefing.com

On Wednesday, U.S. bond and equity markets were closed for Christmas. The bullish trend continued on Thursday with little in the way of the major averages. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.8%) logged its sixth consecutive gain while the S&P 500 (+0.5%) posted its fourth advance in a row. Technology (+0.3%) and the financial sector (+0.2%) were the only cyclical groups that could not keep pace with the broader market.





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Gold for February delivery was up about 0.7%, closing at $1,212.30 per ounce. Silver for March delivery was up about 1.8% to $19.92 per ounce. Delays in UPS Inc. (NYSE: UPS ) deliveries caused a stir yesterday, although the stock did hit a new 52-week high of $104.90. The delays have caused some retailers to issue refunds and gift certificates to customers.





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Now the S&P 500's P-E ratio is around 16.7. While a P/E ratio of 16.7 won't set off any alarm bells the historical average is 14.5 it is noticeably higher than it was a year ago. Investors have high expectations for corporate profits next year, based on the prices they are paying. "It's hard to believe that this market can go much higher from here without some corporate earnings growth," said Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management. Profit margins are already at record highs, and corporations spent most of 2013 https://google.com/+Theelevationgroup/ increasing their earnings by cutting costs or using financial engineering tools like buying back their own stock.