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S&P, Dow end January with largest gains in 15 years

Stocks turned down on the last trading day of the month, but the overall hikes were strong.

Stocks Gain on First Day of US TradingEnlarge
A man looks at his phone as he walks by an electronic display showing the Hang Seng Index closing figures in Hong Kong on January 3, 2012. (Aaron Tam/AFP/Getty Images)

The Standards & Poor 500, the largest major stock index of American stocks, ended January on its best note since 1997, which was in the middle of the dot-com bubble, CNN reported.

While the indexes were up over time, they ended the day down, led by Amazon, which failed to meet profit forecasts.

More from GlobalPost: US stock indexes up on the first trading day of 2012

The S&P saw a 4.4 percent rise in the month of January, and the Dow saw a 3.4 percent rise. The downturn on the final day of the month was due to weaker than expected returns at several large corporations, according to the Wall Street Journal

Also responsible for today’s dip was a lower-than-expected consumer confidence index. "The abrupt swing into negative territory came after the Conference Board's index of consumer confidence retreated to 61.1 this month—well shy of the 68.0 reading expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires. A reading that showed slower economic growth in the Chicago area last month didn't help," the Journal reported.

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/global-economy/120131/sp-dow-end-january-largest-gains-15-years