Recapping the day's news and newsmakers through the lens of CNBC.
Let's end the year on a positive note: an unexpected spike in consumer confidence.The Conference Board's December report Tuesday morning showed a leap to 78.1, from 72.0 in November. Economists had forecast 76.0. The report, along with new data on healthy home-price gains, pushed stocks up, putting a cherry atop the year's stunning returns.
Confidence now matches its level before the fall government shutdown. Consumer expectations were up as well, as were there views of the labor market.
"Despite the many challenges throughout 2013, consumers are in better spirits today than when the year began."—Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.