Today was a solid day for the market with all three major indices closing in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) was up 0.51%, while the S&P (INDEX: ^GSPC) and Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC) both gained 0.83%.

Good news times 3
We saw three positive economic reports today that helped push the markets higher.

  • The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits decreased by 4,000 to 364,000 last week, the lowest number since April 2008.
  • The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators increased for the seventh straight month in November.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment climbed to a six-month high.

There was some disappointing news today, though, as the Commerce Department revised its estimate of third-quarter U.S. economic growth down to 1.8%, below the 2% that economists were expecting. But in the end, that news was overshadowed by the positive economic numbers we saw.

Winners for the day included Tibco (Nasdaq: TIBX) and Micron Technology (Nasdaq: MU). Tibco was up 8% on the day after its fourth-quarter profits and revenues beat expectations. The company also forecasted 2012 first-quarter revenue above analyst estimates.

Micron Technology, meanwhile, shot up 15.7% despite a wider-than-expected quarterly loss. Investors focused on the positive news of a possible rebound in memory-chip demand and prices.

As for the Dow, the financials sector was far and away the best performing. Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase ended the day up 4.6% and 3.5%, respectively. Industrials heavyweight General Electric rounded out the top three, gaining 3% on the day.

On the other side of the coin, consumer staples made up the Dow's weakest group. Coca-Cola and McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) both lost 0.6%, and Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) ended the day down 0.3%.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.