Stocks edge higher…Retailers are up…Mortgage rates are steady
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are edging higher morning as U.S. markets reopen for trading after the Christmas holiday. Technology, banks and companies that rely on consumer spending are leading the gainers. Utilities, materials and industrial stocks are lagging the most. Amazon and other retailers are up following a report showing a last-minute surge in online shopping helped holiday sales.
NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, climbing 1.8%. Macy’s rose 0.8% and Nordstrom added 0.7%. This, as a report from Mastercard SpendingPulse shows holiday retail sales rose 3.4%, with online shopping rising 18.8%.
NEW YORK (AP) – Today’s modest gains on Wall Street have the major indexes on track for more record highs. The benchmark S&P 500 index has finished with a weekly gain in 10 out of the past 11 weeks and is headed for its biggest annual gain since 2013 at 28.9%.
UNDATED (AP) – Markets in Europe, Hong Kong and Australia remained closed on the day after Christmas. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index advanced 0.6% while the Kospi in South Korea gained 0.4%. In Southeast Asia, benchmarks were mixed, while Taiwan was flat.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. long-term mortgage rates are little changed this week, remaining at historically low levels to prod prospective homebuyers. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked up to 3.74% from 3.73% last week. The benchmark rate stood at 4.55% a year ago. The average rate on a 15-year mortgage was 3.19%, unchanged from last week. For the year, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.9%, the fourth-lowest annual rate since Freddie Mac began the survey in 1971.