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STOCKS DO NOTHING: Here’s what you need to know

art cashin

AP Images/ Mary Altaffer

Art Cashin and the NYSE traders.

Stocks did virtually nothing leading into the holiday weekend.

All major indices managed to scrape into the green, but still finished little changed.

From all of us on the Business Insider Markets team, we wish you and your family a happy holidays.

And now, for the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 19,931.75, +12.87, (+0.06%)
  • S&P 500: 2,263.62, +2.66, (+2.68%)
  • Nasdaq: 5,462.69, +15.27, (+0.28%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.543%, -0.008

1. US consumer confidence jumps to a 13-year highThe monthly consumer sentiment index increased to 98.2, the highest level since January 2004, from a preliminary reading of 98. However, the index’s improvement slowed compared to the immediate post-election jump in November and early December, suggesting that the honeymoon enthusiasm may be fading. 

2. New home sales jumped more than expectedNew home sales climbed by 5.2% at a seasonally adjusted rate of 592,000 in November, according to the Census Bureau.

3. Oil rig count rises for the 8th straight weekThe US rig count jumped by 13 to 523 this week, according to oilfield-services company Baker Hughes. The oil rig count is about 13 rigs away from recovering all the losses recorded this year.

4. Traders are bracing for a wild start to 2017The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (or the VIX) which shows expectations of near-term volatility based on S&P 500 index option prices, fell to the lowest intraday level in over a year on Tuesday. But as Bloomberg noted, the CBOE’s gauge of volatility in the next three months relative to the VIX, which has a one-month horizon, is at the highest level since August 2012. Both indexes don’t reflect wagers for a market decline, but for increased activity. 

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