Summary Box: Best January for stocks in 15 years

AP News
Posted: Jan 31, 2012 4:49 PM
Summary Box: Best January for stocks in 15 years

BEST JANUARY: The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 each finished with their biggest January gains since 1997, despite falling slightly ton the last day of the month.

EUROPE PERSISTS: Greece appears close to a resolution on its bonds, with investors expected to take a 50 percent loss on face value. The worry now is that Portugal may need a similar deal with its creditors.

CONFIDENCE LOST: The Conference Board reported that its consumer confidence index fell to 61.1 in January, down from 64.8 in December. That's not a good sign because consumers make up 70 percent of the economy and the recovery is leaning heavily on consumers to start spending and generating demand, which will lead to companies expanding and hiring.