U.S. stocks lose steam at the close, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average hangs on to reach another record high. Shartia Brantley reports.
Santa delivered a mixed bag on Christmas eve as U.S. markets ended with the S&P ending its record run in an abbreviated trading day and light volume. Major indices lost steam heading into the close, but the Dow edged higher setting another record and marking six days of gains. Reuters Markets Editor, David Gaffen: SOUNDBITE: DAVID GAFFEN, MARKETS EDITOR, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We've got a bit of a rally. The biotech stocks that got beaten up yesterday are turning around and they're having a nice day today and leading things higher, but really on a day like this there's sort of a path of least resistance kind of thing that goes on." Continued positive economic data also boosted stocks. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 280,000, which was below forecasts and marking four straight weeks of decline. Investors were cheering for Adamas Pharmaceuticals. Shares soared after The Food and Drug Administration approved its drug co-developed with Actavis and used to treat dementia in Alzheimer's patients. Shares of U.S. surgical implant maker, Stryker, down slightly after reports it will make an offer for British device maker Smith & Nephew in the coming weeks, according to Bloomberg. Smith & Nephew closed higher. But this wasn't enough to lift European stocks which closed mixed.