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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

New York (AFP) – U.S. stocks Tuesday moved higher following a report showing rising home prices as investors kicked off the final session of a banner year for equities.

About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 25.36 points (0.15 percent) to 16,529.65.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 3.03 (0.16 percent) at 1,844.10, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 12.07 (0.29 percent) at 4,166.27.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 were above their record closing levels.

Home prices for the 20 biggest U.S. cities rose a seasonally adjusted 1.0 percent in October compared with the prior month, according to the S&P Case-Shiller home price index.

Prices were up 13.6 percent year-over-year, slightly less than the 13.8 percent rise expected by analysts.

Car-rental company Hertz gained 6.4 percent after enacting a “poison pill” plan designed to prevent a group of shareholders from taking a controlling stake in the company.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway was flat after announcing that it will purchase a specialty chemicals unit from refiner Phillips 66, paying with shares Berkshire already holds in Phillips. News reports said the stock deal was worth about $1.4 billion. Phillips rose 2.5 percent.

Chipmaker Marvell Technology Group gained 6.1 percent after private equity firm KKR disclosed that it owns a 6.8 percent stake in the firm.

Hewlett-Packard dipped 0.4 percent after increasing the number of staff it plans to lay off by 5,000 to 34,000.

Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the 10-year bond rose to 3.00 percent from 2.98 percent, while the 30-year held steady at 3.91 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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