Consumer confidence boosts US stocks

Weary Wall Street cheers improved consumer confidence. Photo via Associated Press

Major US stock market indexes rallied Wednesday to close higher amid optimism over a strong consumer confidence report. 

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 526.74 points, or 1.60%, to finish at 33,376.48. The S&P 500 added 56.82 points, or 1.49%, to 3,878.44.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq increased 162.26 points, or 1.54%, to 10,709.37.

All three indexes ended a four-day losing streak during the previous day’s session.

Consumer confidence rose in December to end two straight months of declines and reached its highest level in eight months, according to a report released earlier by the Conference Board.

“Inflation expectations retreated in December to their lowest level since September 2021, with recent declines in gas prices a major impetus,” Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said in a statement.

The VIX volatility index, also known as the fear index, plummeted 6.6% to 20.05 with rising optimism from investors. The 10-year US Treasury yield fell 0.2% to 3.677%.

The dollar index rose 0.2% to 104.19, while the euro decreased 0.1% to $1.0611 against the greenback.

Precious metals were in negative territory, with the price of gold falling 0.2% to $1,814 per ounce and silver diving 0.7% to $23.97.

Crude oil prices rose nearly 3%. Global benchmark Brent crude was up 2.9% at $82.33 per barrel while US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude was around $78.44 — up 2.95%.

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