Stocks Soar Following Thanksgiving Weekend
The Dow Jones jumped 291 points Monday, its largest gain in a month, to finish at 11, 523.01 following reports of a record number of Black Friday shoppers. The S&P 500 also rose 33 points and NASDAQ rose 85 points Monday.
More people simply spent more money this holiday season. A record 226 million people shopped at stores and online during the four-day holiday weekend, an increase from 212 million last Thanksgiving. The average holiday shopper spent $398.62 over the weekend, compared to $365.40 last year.
Along with the record-setting retail numbers, there have been steady drops in new unemployment applications, which suggest the U.S. economy is on the road to recovery. Many people believed just a few months ago the U.S. could enter another recession.
"This goes in stark contrast to the gloom and doom that had been over markets," said Rob Lutts, President of Cabot Money Management. "A lot of the stocks I follow have been more oversold than any time I can remember in the last few years."
Over in Europe, stocks rose as leaders discussed new ways to contain the regions debt troubles, including joint bond sales and tighter fiscal controls. France's CAC-40 jumped 5.5 percent, while indexes in Germany and Italy rose 4.6 percent.
Though retail sales and negotiations in Europe drove stocks up, some still worry about the state of the economy. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a report Monday saying "could massively escalate economic disruption" resulting in "highly devastating outcomes." In Washington, the Fitch Ratings Agency lowered its outlook on the U.S. government's credit rating following the failure of the super committee to agree on long-term budget cuts.