An Expansive Economy Inflates the Dow

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are both on a roll today, following a report on the nation's gross domestic product that showed the economy gaining speed more quickly than previously thought.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its third estimate of the country's GDP for the third quarter earlier today, showing an annual growth rate of 4.1% from the second quarter. The new and final estimate used additional data that was not available at the time of the earlier estimate of 3.6% growth.

With a new federal budget deal in place and Mr. Market's joyous response to the Federal Reserve's taper timeline, investors are probably feeling pretty good about the confirmation of Janet Yellen to replace retiring Fed Chair Ben Bernanke. The Senate is expected to vote later today to close debate on Yellen's nomination, clearing the decks for her confirmation on Jan. 6.

Financial stocks looking fine
Both JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs are green as the lunch hour nears, riding the wave as the Dow continues to climb. JPMorgan likely got a bit of a lift this morning from The Street, which reiterated a buy rating on the bank's stock, noting its decent valuation and increasing profit margin.

As big banks continue to root out business practices that might become the focus of unwanted regulatory scrutiny, Goldman has banned traders from using group chat rooms, after investigations into foreign exchange and interest rate rigging highlighted them as problematic. JPMorgan banned the chat rooms earlier this week.

In mergers and acquisitions news, Sprint may finally be moving toward purchasing T-Mobile, according to sources in the know. This has drawn interest from several big banks, including Goldman Sachs, whose top brass, including CEO Lloyd Blankfein, met with executives from Sprint's parent company in New York yesterday. An offer for T-Mobile could possibly occur before mid-2014, according to the sources.

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Fool contributor Amanda Alix has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Goldman Sachs. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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