We can say this much: 2012 certainly knows how to make a grand entrance. The first trading day of the new year saw all three major indices up about 1.5%, while gold broke $1,600 an ounce and oil rose by 4%, placing it above the triple-digit mark to just under $103 a barrel.
The cause for today's celebration: excellent numbers from the ISM manufacturing survey, which increased to 53.7 for December, up from last month's 52.7 and 50.8 from October. A number above 50 indicates economic expansion. The phrase "green shoots" may come back into play as several promising macro reports over the past few months have indicated that although gains are fragile, the economic situation is tangibly improving. And it's not just in America; positive economic indicators also came out of Germany and China.
In response, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Inside the Dow, the single biggest gainer was Alcoa
All told, it appears the market is doing its best to start 2012 in style. If that's the case, let's hope it's one trend we see continue into the new year.
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David Williamson holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Chevron. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.