FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. equity markets advanced on Monday as traders cheered strong data on consumer spending at the beginning of the holiday-shopping season. 

Todays' Markets 

As of 11:50 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) climbed 67.7 points, or 0.42%, to 16290, the S&P 500 (GSPC) advanced 9.3 points, or 0.51%, to 1828 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) climbed 28.9 points, or 0.7%, to 4134.

Wall Street is starting to close out what has been a blockbuster year. The has rallied 23.8%, while the broader S&P 500 has spiked 27.5% as of Friday's close. With no more full trading weeks left this year, many analysts are expecting fairly light action through January. 

Still, there were two key economic reports on the docket. The Commerce Department said consumer spending climbed 0.5% in November from the month prior, matching economists’ expectations. Meanwhile, personal income edged up by 0.2% on the same basis, shy of estimates of a 0.5% gain.

A reading on consumer sentiment from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan came in at 82.5 in late December, matching an earlier reading, but shy of expectations of a slight increase to 83. Still, it was the highest reading on a final basis since July.

Both of these reports capture the state of the American consumer during the key holiday-shopping season. 

On the corporate front, Apple (AAPL) signed a long-awaited deal with China Mobile to sell iPhone's on the world's biggest mobile carrier. Analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald reckon the technology titan could sell as many as 24 million phones through the carrier next year. 

A Swiss court ordered Tiffany (TIF) to pay Swatch close to $450 million over a failed watch-making alliance. 

In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures climbed 97 cents, or 0.99%, to $98.77 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.29% to $2.775 a gallon. Gold dipped $3.70, or 0.31%, to $1,200 a troy ounce. 

Follow Adam Samson on Twitter @adamsamson.