The Stock Market Is Within Points Of An All-Time High

New york stock exchange wall street tradersREUTERS/Brendan McDermidTraders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

US stock markets are in the green again for the fourth day in a row.

The Dow is up 90 points (0.5%), the S&P 500 is up 2 points (0.1%), and the Nasdaq is up 8 points (0.1%).

At 2,072, the S&P 500 is just 7 points away from its intraday all-time high.

There’s no obvious explanation for today’s gains.

But we can’t ignore the ongoing benefit US consumers get from low energy prices.

According to a Lundberg survey released Sunday, that average price of gasoline in the US fell $US0.25 in the past two weeks to $US2.47 per gallon. This is the lowest level in five-and-a-half years.

Earlier, we learned the pace of existing home sales plunged 6.1%in November to an annualized rate of 4.93 million units. This was much worse than the 1.1% decline expected.

“Overall, the weaker existing home sales report suggests that the housing market remains on a somewhat rocky footing as data remains quite choppy,” TD Securities Gennadiy Goldberg said. “We suspect that the recent decline in mortgage rates could help provide a near-term boost to activity over the coming months, but believe that further housing market improvement is likely to remain quite gradual, remaining a source of concern for the Fed.”

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