Stocks rose sharply Tuesday on the first trading of 2012 as investors returned from the holiday and found encouraging economic reports from the United States and around the world. U.S. manufacturing grew in December at the fastest rate in six months and construction spending rose in November. Germany reported that the average number of people unemployed there last year was the lowest in two decades.
On the first day of the year:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 179.82 points, or 1.5 percent, at 12,397.38.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 19.46 points, or 1.5 percent, at 1,277.06.
The Nasdaq closed up 43.57, or 1.7 percent, at 2,648.72.