Quiet day for US stock indices

Stocks have largely meandered sideways today, with volumes unsurprisingly light between Christmas and New Year.

The leading US stock index benchmarks are effectively flat today, with the Dow up by just 0.08% with under an hour to the close in New York, while the broader S&P 500 index lost 0.04%.

With many market participants still on breaks for the festive period, volumes have been wafer thin, which can sometimes lead to volatile swings, but has instead resulted in prices drifting without any impetus today.

Disney led the gainers in the Dow, jumping 2.2% to $76 a share after being upgraded from neutral to buy by Guggenheim Securities.

A survey from the Dallas Federal Reserve showed activity rose over December in factories in Texas, but the pace of growth eased back from that seen in November. The Dallas Fed’s production index dropped to 7.1 in December from the 16.9 seen last month.

While this was the eight successive month of activity expanding in the manufacturing sector for Texas, the forward-looking component of new orders was close to zero, suggesting further slowing could be seen next month.

Tomorrow’s economic data could pack a little more punch than the reports we saw today, with the highlights of US data tomorrow including Chicago PMI, consumer confidence and Case-Shiller’s home price index.

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