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US stocks on track for record yearly gains

Monday, 30 Dec 2013 | 8:22 AM ET

Wall Street looked set to start Monday little changed, with the S&P 500 positioned for its largest yearly advance since 1997.

With only two more days left of 2013, trade will likely be subdued given the holiday period.

(Read more: Good news may mean lighter stock gains in new year)

Data due on Monday include pending home sales for November, out at 10 a.m. ET. Analysts polled by Reuters see home sales up 1.0 percent during the month, after a 0.6 percent fall in October.

At 10:30 a.m. the Dallas Federal Reserve will publish its December manufacturing survey.

Key data in the week ahead includes consumer confidence on Tuesday and weekly jobless claims on Thursday. Fed officials including outgoing-Chairman Ben Bernanke are due to speak on Friday.

Monday — and the rest of the week — will be very light on quarterly earnings. Mississippi's Cal-Maine Foods, the nation's largest egg producer, posted a quarterly profit of $1.08 a share, three cents above estimates.

The public was also awaited any further update on Obamacare, the national healthcare insurance program which will launch on New Year's Day. After a chaotic roll-out of its website and online enrollment system, a successful launch is viewed as vital for government support.

Both Asian and European shares were range-bound in early in the day, with the Japanese Nikkei closing at a six-year high on its final trading day of the year. The weak yen underpinned gains, with the U.S. dollar hitting a new five-year high against the currency.

(Read more: Resurgent carry trade to keep yen weak)

The 2014 trading year kicks off Thursday, after the New Year's Day holiday.

—By CNBC's Katy Barnato

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