Markets

Historic year closes, home price data and consumer confidence: 3 things to watch for on Tuesday

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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Here are the most important things to know about Tuesday before you hit the door.

Historic year closes

The S&P 500 has a chance to notch one more milestone as it caps off a strong 2019. The index will enter the final day of trading for the year up more than 28%, making this the best year for the index since 2013.

If the index can rise about 1% on Tuesday — and cross the 3,253 level — this year will pass 2013 and become the best year since 1997. The index has hovered slightly below that level in recent days amid light trading volumes.

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Large cap stocks were down slightly on Monday, but have still posted a banner year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up more than 22% for the year, and the Nasdaq Composite has climbed more than 36%.

All three major indexes have climbed in December, avoiding a repeat of the sell-off at the end of last year that set the stage for 2019's historic run.

Home price data released

Several new pieces of economic data will give investors a read on U.S. consumers as we move into 2020.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index is scheduled to be released before the market opens. The report will show how home prices changed in October of this year.

The latest report showed prices increasing by 2.1% in September in the 20-City Composite and 3.2% nationally compared with the same month last year. Both numbers represented a slight acceleration from the results in August.

Other indicators show that the housing market is strengthening. Homebuilder confidence hit its highest level since 1999 earlier this month, and U.S. home starts rose faster than expected in November. Pending home sales also rose in November.

Home price data from the Federal Housing Financing Agency will also be released on Tuesday morning.

Consumer confidence looks to rise

A new consumer confidence reading from The Conference Board is also slated to be released Tuesday. Economists polled by Dow Jones predict a reading of 129.0 for consumer confidence, which would be an increase from the 125.5 result in November.

If the print matches estimates, it will be the highest reading for the confidence measurement since August, when it was 134.2. Any increase from November's reading will stop a four-month slide for consumer confidence.

Tuesday's report will give insight into consumer attitudes during the holiday shopping season. A report from Mastercard last week showed online shopping hitting a record high this year, when the holiday season was shortened due to fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Major events (all times Eastern)

9:00 a.m. S&P/Case-Shiller home prices

9:00 a.m. FHFA home prices

10:00 a.m. Consumer confidence

10:30 a.m. Dallas Fed service sector survey