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US Stocks Start 2011 at New Highs, Dollar Climbs, Oil at 27-month high

U.S. Stocks start 2011 at new highs

NEW YORK, Jan. 3, 2011 (Xinhua) --

U.S. stocks ended at new highs in more than two years on Monday, the first trading day of 2011, as investors were feeling more optimistic about the outlook of the U. S. economy.

Wall Street wrapped up the year of 2010 with solid gains. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 11 percent for the year. The broader S&P 500 rallied about 13 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained nearly 17 percent.

Optimism on a stronger recovery continued to push the market higher on the first session of the new year.

The Dow ended up 93.24 points, or 0.81 percent, to 11,670.75, the highest closing since August 2008.

The S&P 500 surged 14.23 points, or 1.13 percent, to close at a 26-month high of 1,271.87.

The Nasdaq rose 38.65 points, or 1.46 percent, to 2,691.52, a fresh record for the closing in three years.

Monday's gains were broad-based, with all ten sectors in S&P 500 higher, as the latest economic data provided further evidence that the economy was gaining momentum.

The Institute for Supply Management said on Monday that its index of national factory activity rose to 57.0 last month from 56. 6 in November. It's the 17th straight gain for the index, showing the manufacturing sector was still the main driver for the recovery.

Separately, the Commerce Department reported that construction spending increased 0.4 percent in November, the third straight monthly gains. Meanwhile, building activity remains 33.2 percent below the all-time high hit in March 2006, when spending was driven by a record boom in housing.

Bank of America soared 6.37 percent, the most in Dow's 30 components, after the company announced to take a provision of about 3 billion dollars in the fourth quarter to buy back bad loans from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae that were issued by its troubled Countrywide Financial unit.

Alcoa was also among the best performers, with its shares up 2. 66 percent, after Deutsche Bank upgraded its stock-investment rating on the aluminum producer to buy from hold, citing the company could benefit from higher prices going forward.

Editor: Mu Xuequan

Dollar climbs as stocks gain

NEW YORK, Jan. 3, 2011 (Xinhua) --

The U.S. dollar rose against major currencies in late New York trading on Monday as stocks rose on optimistic prospect of economic growth in 2011.

All of the three major stock indexes in U.S. stock market gained about 1 percent as investors were confident that the U.S. economy would go well in 2011.

The euro rallied above 1.335 against the dollar in late trading session as the euro zone welcomed Estonia as its 17th member on Jan. 1.

Declining U.S. bond yields weighed on the dollar. Benchmark 10- year yields hit a high of 3.4395 percent in early trading, but slipped to 3.3362 percent by midday.

However, many analysts still saw continued strength in the dollar and further downside for the euro, as Spain and Italy, which were still struggling in the debt crisis, trying to find buyers of 400-billion euros in debt as maturing bonds fell due.

In late Monday trading, the dollar bought 81.65 Japanese yen, comparing with 81.21 late Friday, and the euro fell to 1.3364 dollars from 1.3367.

The British pound also fell to 1.5491 dollars from 1.5590. The dollar fell from 0.9338 to 0.9330 against Swiss francs, but rose to 1.0084 Canadian dollars from 1.0043.

Oil ends first trading day of 2011 at 27-month high

NEW YORK, Jan. 3, 2011 (Xinhua) --

Crude prices on Monday ended the first trading day of 2011 with a 27-month high on positive economic data and cold weather forecast.

Data released on Monday gave more evidences about the improving economy of the biggest oil consumer, boosting the oil demand expectation.

According the Institute for Supply Management, U.S. manufacturing jumped to 57.0 in December, it's growth for the 17th straight month. New orders have moved above 60 for the first time since May, at 60.9.

U.S. construction spending rose more than expected 0.4 percent in November to touch its highest level in five months, a separate report from the Commerce Department showed.

And the weather forecast said, the entire United States would suffer from below normal temperatures in 6 to 10 days. Europe would also confronted cold weather, which would cause demand of heating oil to surge.

Light, sweet crude for February delivery rose 17 cents to 91.55 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Editor: Mu Xuequan

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