US stocks ended higher in a holiday-shortened week as investors were digesting the latest economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday added 28.09 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 24,774.30. The S&P 500 increased 2.12 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 2,682.62, Xinhua news agency reported. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 3.09 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 6,939.34. On the economic front, the US Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased in December, following a modest improvement in November. The Index now stands at 122.1, down from 128.6 in November.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 0.2 per cent to 109.5 in November from 109.3 in October, according to the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday. With last month’s modest increase, the index remains at its highest reading since June, and is now 0.8 per cent above a year ago. The Dow and S&P 500 posted the fifth straight week of gains last week after US President Donald Trump on Friday signed a $1.5-trillion tax cut bill into law. The tax bill, the sweeping rewrite of US tax law since 1986, would cut the corporate income tax rate to 21 per cent from the current 35 percent and lower individual income rates.