Materials lead the way in holiday-shortened trading session
On Tuesday, the usual holiday-shortened trading session led to a rather tame, but still positive, finish. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were both able to continue their strong momentum, as they extended their runs.
Fueled by good performances in the materials sector, the averages were also bolstered by a strong performance in home sales, which were in turn reacting to a .5% jump in home prices from September to October. The numbers were reported by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. This happens as the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that sales of new single-family homes were down 2.1% from October to November. The November numbers were seasonally adjusted.
Homebuilding stocks that went up included Beazer Homes USA Inc. (BZH), which was the top dog as it increased by 2.7%. Others to rise were Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (HOV), which jumped by a full percentage point, Dr. Horton Inc. (DHI) at .8% up, and Lennar Corp (LEN), which rose by .6%.
But the real stars were certainly the materials stocks, which were led by particularly strong performances from the E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DD), Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX), and The Dow Chemical Company (DOW). E.I. du Pont was up 1.7%, while Freeport-McMoRan was up 1.6% and Dow up 1.2%. PPG Industries Inc. (PPG) rose by 1.1%, while Praxair Inc. (PX) slid up by a sultry .8%.