Stocks kicked off the New Year with strong gains.  A report on the U.S. manufacturing sector sweetened the mood, showing higher expansion in December than analysts had expected. Mark Lasseigne has your stock market report on today's Acadiana Business Index.

In corporate news,
  • Chesapeake Energy advanced 5.9% to $23.60 after the company said it sold a minority stake in its Ohio shale discovery to a subsidiary of France's Total for $2.32 billion.
  • 3M agreed to acquire Avery Dennison's office and consumer products business for $550 million. Shares rose 2.2%, to $83.49.
  • And, China Petrochemical struck a $2.2 billion dollar deal with Devon Energy for a one-third stake in five U.S. shale oil and gas fields.
  • Oil futures finish at their highest level in eight months as heightening tensions between Iran and the West raised fears of supply disruptions. Light, sweet crude closed at $102.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
  • And gold climbed to $1,600 an ounce.