Stocks ended another week of trading on gains as the Bureau of Economic Analysis released its final estimate for third-quarter economic growth, showing the US gross domestic product had risen at an annualized rate of 4.1 percent, besting the predictions of economists and the Bureau itself of 3.6 percent growth.
The Dow Industrials were 0.26 percent higher to 16,221.14, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed 0.48 percent higher to 1,818.31 points, and the NASDAQ rose an impressive 1.15 percent to 4,104.74.
On the Dow, healthcare giant Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and sports apparel retailer Nike (NKE) turned in equally bad performances with both down 1.27 percent by the closing bell. The benchmark index’s best performers on the day were construction machinery company Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) , followed by Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) , both of whom had gained over 1.5 percent on the day.
On the S&P 500, aerospace/defense firm Textron Inc. (TXT) gained nearly 15 percent after The Financial Times reported earlier in that day that the Cessna plane and Bell helicopters maker would be purchasing Beechcraft Corp. for $1.4 billion dollars. Meanwhile, software-maker Red Hat Inc. also gained nearly 15 percent after the company’s third-quarter earnings report showed stronger earnings and revenues for the previous ended period.
It was also a good day for hardware techs with Micron Technology (MU) , EMC Corporation (EMC) , and Cisco Systems (CSCO) all trading higher on large volume. Meanwhile, struggling department store retailer JC Penney (JCP) stemmed the week’s losses, adding nearly 5 percent ahead of the bell ahead of the last shopping weekend before the Christmas holiday.
On the NASDAQ, Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) continued its amazing week, adding another 17.50 percent by the bell, on sustained bullishness that one of its only treatments is finally close to being approved for use. Shares are up over 110 percent in the last month alone.
In tech, application software company Responsys Inc. (MKTG) saw shares 40 percent higher by day’s end after the announcement that the company would be acquired by Oracle Corporation (ORCL) .
Shares for wireless services provider T-Mobile USA (TMUS) in reaction to news that the company had effectively swapped its spectrum with that of competitor Verizon Communications (VZ) . Sprint Nextel (S) also rose nearly 7 percent on the day, on rumors that the company’s new owners, Japanese telecom firm SoftBank was looking to secure funding in order to purchase T-Mobile. Investors who are looking for a clue as to what the next year is going to look like for telecom stocks will want to have a look at Jeff Kagan’s breakdown of the companies, trends, and technologies that will shape the sector in 2014.