U.S. stocks staged a powerful rally as another string of deals boosted momentum and sent a number of indexes to new highs. Mary Thompson is CNBC’s Eye on the Floor at the NYSE and had all the final details with a look at the markets on "Closing Bell." Today’s flurry of mergers and acquisitions exceeded $20 billion dollars. November was the 2nd busiest month ever for global deals--with some $400 billion in deals alone.
A drop in oil prices also helped boost stocks today. Crude futures fell on expectations of mild weather next week despite lingering worries about a possible OPEC production cut.
The deals overshadowed weakness in drugs as well as some of the energy sectors. All of this helped send the Dow up 88 points putting it within striking distance of its record close.
Today was a broad based rally on fairly light volume. Banks, semi-conductors and retailstocks all led the way in today’s gains. Also investors saw gains in some of the drug store stocks – Walgreen came out with stronger than expected November same store sales – this despite competition from Wal-mart .
Also--home builders were weak in the wake of larger than expected decline in pending home sales for the month of November.