Stocks Extend Holiday Cheer

U.S. stocks rose in light volume on Friday following the Christmas holiday, with the Dow and S&P 500 closing at records. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 23.50 points, or 0.13%, to 18,053.71. The S&P 500 gained 6.89 points, or 0.33%, to 2,088.77. The Nasdaq Composite added 33.39 points, or 0.70%,, to 4,806.86. For the week, the Dow rose 1.4%, the S&P rose 0.9% and the Nasdaq rose 0.9%.

Christmas came on time this year for most people. After FedEx and UPS failed to deliver some presents in time for Christmas last year, the two package carriers improved their performance this holiday season.

Natural gas prices fell Friday, dipping below the $3 level for the first time in more than two years, as mild weather damped hopes for a rise in demand.

Gold prices finished a holiday-shortened week down three-hundreths of a percentage point as gains Friday failed to outweigh heavy losses earlier in the week. Gold for February delivery surged $22.10, or 1.88%, to $1,196.30 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday.

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