ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Stocks and exchange traded funds are up in light, pre-holiday trading today. Since 1900, the Dow Industrial Average has been up 70% of the time on Christmas Eve. 

Markets were buoyed this morning by a pair of positive economic reports. New orders for durable manufactured goods excluding transportation surged 2% in November and applications for jobless benefits fell last week, report Lucia Mutikani and Emily Kaiser for Reuters. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell by 28,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 452,000 last week, the lowest level since early September 2008.

In the early hours of this morning, the U.S. Senate voted 60-39 to pass a landmark health care bill. The health care bill would provide coverage to more 30 million Americans and begin a far-reaching overhaul of Medicare and the private insurance market, reports Shailagh Murray for The Washington Post . [For more stories on the healthcare sector, please see our health-care category.]

In the run-up to the vote, HMO stocks have been very strong in the past few months. The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Health Care Providers Index (NYSE: IHF) is up slightly today and is sitting just below its 52-week high. [For more stories on sector ETFs, please see our sector ETFs category.]


The Senate also voted today to raise the ceiling on government debt to $12.4 trillion, a big increase over the current limit. President Barack Obama has pledged to address this issue next year, reports the Associated Press.

Tony D’Altorio contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.