LONDON (ShareCast) - -Slightly higher than forecast ISM data
-CBOE volatility index falls 12 per cent
-Credit Suisse (NYSE: CRP - news) upgrades US Steel
Dow Jones Industrials: 1.69%
Nasdaq Comp.: 2.24%
S&P 500: 1.70%
On Wednesday US equities were tacking on further gains to the largest year-end rally for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index since 1974.
Yes, Congress still needed to decide on painful spending cuts, and to increase the country´s debt limit, but the most dangerous scenarios for the US economy seemed to have been circumvented.
Even so, a fair bit of market commentary was warning that much of the 'hard work' had been left undone, a fact which might eventually weigh on share prices again.
So, could the rally be trusted? Look for confirmation by a break in the S&P 500 above 1,471, said technical analysts at Cantor Capital.
M&A again in the news
Molycorp (NYSE: MCP - news) rose on the back of a positive mention in Bloomberg. More specifically, the news agency cited broker comment to the effect that the rare earths concern could become a take-over target now that its market capitalisation had fallen below its net asset value.
Zipcar (NasdaqGS: ZIP - news) soared on news that Avis Budget Group had agreed to buy the company.
GE will acquire 32 wind farms from Spanish outfit Iberdrola (Other OTC: IBDRY - news) for €350m.
Raymond James upgraded retailer Walgreens to overweight from neutral.
Credit Suisse also lifted its view on US Steel.
Slightly higher than forecast ISM survey figures
Construction spending fell 0.3% month-on-month in November (Consensus: 0.6%).
The ISM manufacturing index for the month of December rose to 50.7 points after a reading of 49.5 for the month before (Consensus: 50.5), led by a rise in the prices paid component.
The new orders sub-index remained steady at 50.3.
Large rise in energy quotes
Front month West Texas crude futures are now higher by 1.33% to the 93.04 dollar mark on the NYMEX.
10 year US Treasury yields are now gaining by 7 basis points to the 1.83% mark.
S&P 500 - Risers
United States Steel Corp (NYSE: X - news) . (X) $25.37 +6.37%
MetLife Inc (NYSE: MET - news) . (MET) $34.88 +5.88%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc (NasdaqGS: ALXN - news) . (ALXN) $99.24 +5.87%
Lam Research Corp. (LRCX) $38.17 +5.65%
Constellation Brands Inc (NYSE: STZ - news) . Class A (STZ) $37.33 +5.47%
Wynn Resorts Ltd (NasdaqGS: WYNN - news) . (WYNN) $118.23 +5.10%
Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) $14.96 +4.99%
Dean Foods Co. (DF) $17.33 +4.94%
Marriott International Inc (NYSE: MAR - news) . (MAR) $39.06 +4.80%
Interpublic Group of Companies Inc. (IPG) $11.51 +4.45%
S&P 500 - Fallers
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT - news) (ABT) $32.31 -50.67%
Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (COG) $47.94 -3.62%
EQT Corp. (EQT) $56.97 -3.41%
Range Resources Corp. (RRC) $61.33 -2.39%
Southwestern Energy Co (NYSE: SWN - news) . (SWN) $32.68 -2.18%
CONSOL Energy Inc (NYSE: CNX - news) . (CNX) $31.41 -2.15%
Kohls Corp. (KSS) $42.07 -2.12%
Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc (NYSE: WPI - news) . (WPI) $84.21 -2.08%
Peabody Energy Corp (NYSE: BTU - news) . (BTU) $26.12 -1.85%
EMC Corp. (EMC (Taiwan OTC: 5299.TWO - news) ) $24.86 -1.74%
Dow Jones I.A - Risers
Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) $14.96 +4.99%
Caterpillar Inc (NYSE: CAT - news) . (CAT (Taiwan OTC: 4990.TWO - news) ) $93.46 +4.30%
Bank of America Corp. (BAC) $11.94 +2.84%
Alcoa Inc (NYSE: AA - news) . (AA) $8.91 +2.65%
Intel Corp. (INTC) $21.10 +2.33%
Cisco Systems Inc (NasdaqGS: CSCO - news) . (CSCO) $20.10 +2.29%
American Express Co. (AXP) $58.64 +2.02%
AT&T Inc. (T) $34.39 +2.02%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $36.97 +1.99%
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM (NYSE: IBM - news) ) $195.33 +1.97%
Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
Nasdaq 100 - Risers
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN) $99.24 +5.87%
Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) $118.23 +5.10%
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NasdaqGS: REGN - news) . (REGN) $178.93 +4.59%
Viacom Inc (NasdaqGS: VIAB - news) . Class B (VIAB) $55.08 +4.44%
Facebook Inc (NasdaqGS: FB - news) . (FB) $27.72 +4.13%
Altera Corp (NasdaqGS: ALTR - news) . (ALTR) $35.72 +3.85%
Mondelez International Inc (NasdaqGS: MDLZ - news) . (MDLZ) $26.43 +3.84%
Autodesk Inc (NasdaqGS: ADSK - news) . (ADSK) $36.65 +3.66%
KLA-Tencor Corp. (KLAC) $49.49 +3.62%
Life Technologies Corp. (LIFE) $50.80 +3.61%
Nasdaq 100 - Fallers
Ross Stores Inc (NasdaqGS: ROST - news) . (ROST) $53.23 -1.59%
CH Robinson Worldwide Inc (NasdaqGS: CHRW - news) (CHRW) $63.18 -0.06%