Volume was light and a volatility index fell, signaling calm among
traders. The Dow industrials traded within 43.11 points from session
high to intraday low, in the Dow's tightest daily range since August
Speeches from a number of policymakers on Monday suggested that the
Fed may be closer than previously thought to trimming its $85
billion a month in bond purchases. The stimulus program has helped
drive the U.S. stock market's rally this year.
A recent string of strong economic data, however, has removed some
of the market's anxiety about the eventual ending of the Fed's
quantitative easing program.
A Reuters poll showed on Monday that economists expect the Fed to
begin trimming its quantitative easing program in March, but some
are warming up to the idea that it will do so as early as this month
or at the January meeting.
The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee will hold its final
meeting of 2013 on Dec. 17-18.
"The Fed isn't going to tighten (monetary policy) any time soon;
they will taper, but only because the economy doesn't need the
stimulus anymore," said John Manley, chief equity strategist at
Wells Fargo Funds Management in New York.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 5.33 points or 0.03
percent, to finish at 16,025.53. The S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 3.28
points or 0.18 percent, to end at 1,808.37, a record closing high.
The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 6.23 points or 0.15 percent, to
close at 4,068.751.
The S&P 500 is up 26.8 percent for the year. The benchmark index is
on track for its biggest annual gain in more than a decade.
Twitter's stock closed at its highest level since the company went
public in early November. The stock jumped 9.3 percent to end at
$49.14 after a spate of product announcements that could boost
Twitter's revenue prospects.
[to top of second column]
Sysco Corp <SYY.N> shares climbed 9.7 percent to $37.62 after the
food distributor said it would buy rival US Foods for about $3.5
billion and assume about $4.7 billion in debt to create a company
with about $65 billion in annual revenue.
In contrast, McDonald's <MCD.N> shares fell 1.1 percent to $95.72
after the fast-food restaurant chain reported weaker-than-expected
global sales at established restaurants for November. A sharp drop
in comparable-store sales in the United States hurt its global
sales, McDonald's said.
Shares of Edwards Lifesciences Corp <EW.N> dropped 5.4 percent to
$62.73 after the company forecast 2014 earnings below analysts'
estimates and said it would face new competition in the United
States and Europe.
About 5.6 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the
6.16 billion average so far this month, according to data from BATS
Advancers and decliners were evenly distributed on the New York
Stock Exchange. On the Nasdaq, two issues rose for every three that
(Editing by Jan Paschal)
[© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2013 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.