Markets were up on Monday as many investors gained confidence in a US budget deal that would help avoid the fiscal cliff. The housing industry had a good day as home builder sentiment hit a six-year high and existing home sales for the month of October rose above expectations. Optimism also grew in Europe with signs of progress with Greece's funding problems, sending the euro up to its highest level against the dollar in about two weeks. Shares of both Apple (AAPL) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) surged on Monday. Intel (INTC) announced that CEO Otellini will retire in May and the company's stock ended the day 7 cents higher. At the end of last week many believed that Hostess Brands Inc. would soon have to shutdown because of a striking union, but on Monday it was reported that the company and union will go into mediation and possibly avoid immediate liquidation. Gold futures rallied by about $20 an ounce to reach their highest level in a month.
Word on the Street
- Five large US banks are giving $22 billion in mortgage relief to settle foreclosure accusations.
- Existing home sales unexpectedly rise 2.1% in the US during October.
- Hostess Brands must first go through mediation and may be able to avoid a total shutdown.
- Euro makes strong gains against the dollar on optimism for Greek funding.
- Intel (INTC) may look outside its ranks for a new CEO; Paul Otellini to step down in May.
- Oil, stocks and gold all up on Monday due to fiscal-cliff optimism and housing data.
- Tyson Foods (TSN) posts higher quarterly earnings and predicts an upbeat forecast.
- Shares of Apple (AAPL) climb in afternoon trading ahead of the holiday shopping season.
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