The fifty-second trading week of 2014 comes to a close with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAQ composite higher in early-afternoon trading on Friday.
Most actively traded stocks include Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) up 0.2%, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) higher by 1.3%, Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) up 2.75%, Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) higher by 5.7% and Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) up 2.6%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are all significantly higher in the last five days of trading.
Crude oil futures are higher so far this week, trading at $55.24 per barrel on Friday afternoon.
And Gold futures are lower so far this week, trading at $1195.82 an ounce this afternoon.
In economic news, real gross domestic product -- the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes -- increased at an annual rate of 5.0 percent in the third quarter of 2014, according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 4.6 percent.
The GDP estimate is based on more complete source data than were available for the "second" estimate issued last month. In the second estimate, the increase in real GDP was 3.9 percent. With the third estimate for the third quarter, both personal consumption expenditures and nonresidential fixed investment increased more than previously estimated.
The increase in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from PCE, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, exports, state and local government spending, and residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.
The acceleration in the percent change in real GDP reflected a downturn in imports, an upturn in federal government spending, and an acceleration in PCE that were partly offset by a downturn in private inventory investment and decelerations in exports, in state and local government spending, in residential fixed investment, and in nonresidential fixed investment.
In the week ending December 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 280,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 289,000. The 4-week moving average was 290,250, a decrease of 8,500 from the previous week's unrevised average of 298,750.
In corporate dividend news, Atlas Resource Partners (NYSE:ARP) declared its monthly distribution for the month of November 2014 of $0.1966 per common unit. The November 2014 distribution is payable Wednesday, January 14, 2015 to holders of record as of Tuesday, January 6, 2015.
AT&T (NYSE:T) has approved a 2.2 percent increase in the company's quarterly dividend. AT&T directors increased the quarterly dividend rate from $0.46 to $0.47 a share on a quarterly basis, or an increase from $1.84 to $1.88 per share on an annualized basis. The dividend will be payable on Feb. 2, 2015 to common stockholders of record on Jan. 9, 2015.
And, Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.33 per common share. The dividend is payable on February 24, 2015 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on January 26, 2015.
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