Stocks End Higher as Market Approaches New Year

By  | 

New York, NY (AP) - Stocks indexes finish with small gains and
remain on pace for their best December in nearly 20 years.

The Standard and Poor's 500-stock index is up 6.7 percent for
the month. If it closes Friday at this level or higher, it will be
the index's best December return since 1991.

In the absence of any fresh economic data or big corporate
announcements, investors were attracted to the government's latest
bond auction. Treasurys rallied and stocks also drew strength from
the successful sale.

According to preliminary figures, the Dow Jones industrial
average is up 10, or 0.1 percent, to 11,585. The S&P 500 is up 1
point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,259. The Nasdaq composite finished up 4
points, or nearly 0.2 percent, to 2,667.

Seven shares rose for every three that fell on the New York
Stock Exchange. Trading volume was a thin 2.1 billion shares ahead
of the New Year's holiday.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)