Stock prices finished Monday mixed to higher in quiet trading as investors shrugged off weaker-than-expected housing data and looked head to early 2014 to see how fourth-quarter earnings and economic growth rates perform.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.16%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.02%, while the Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.06%.
The National Association of Realtors reported earlier that its pending home sales index increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in November, far shy of market expectations for a 1.0% gain. Pending home sales for October were revised to a 1.2% decline from a previously reported drop of 0.6%.
Investors took the data in stride as overall, stocks are poised to post their strongest year since 1997 due to a more robust U.S. economy and also due to Federal Reserve monetary support.
The Federal Reserve announced recently it would trim USD10 billion from its USD85 billion in monthly bond-buying purchases beginning in January.
While Fed bond purchases tend to bolster stocks by suppressing borrowing costs, a decision to taper the stimulus program signifies a more robust economy lies just down the road, which is also bullish for equities.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Walt Disney, up 2.53%, Cisco, up 1.07%, and Coca-Cola, up 1.06%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average''s worst performers included Exxon Mobil, down 1.13%, Chevron, down 0.73%, and Boeing, down 0.72%.
European indices, meanwhile, finished lower.
After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.19%, France''s CAC 40 fell 0.05%, while Germany''s DAX 30 fell 0.39%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished down 0.29%.
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