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Rising oil, commodity prices pull stocks higher

Rising oil, commodity prices pull stocks higher

Investors are riding higher energy prices into the close of a strong quarter.
Energy, industrial and materials stocks led the market higher in light trading volume Monday as investors looked to put money into areas that would benefit from an improving economy.
Crude oil rose $2.05 to $71.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after Nigerian militants damaged and partly shut down an offshore oil platform belonging to Royal Dutch Shell.
Stocks rose after seesawing in the early going. After running up the market more than 30 percent in three months on a litany of "less bad" economic data, investors have become more cautious about the pace of the economy's recovery in recent weeks, looking for more concrete signs of growth.
Harry Rady, chief executive of Rady Asset Management, said some of the more recent buying has come as investors are afraid of being left behind by the market's advance but not necessarily because the economy is improving.
"People don't want to miss the rally," he said. "There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason. We're kind of in a trading range and people are looking for things to do."
In late morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 78.37, or 0.9 percent, to 8,516.76. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 7.09, or 0.8 percent, to 925.99, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 6.00, or 0.3 percent, to 1,844.22.
More than three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 271.4 million shares compared with 262.8 million shares traded Friday.
Though the Dow is still up 28.9 percent from a 12-year low on March 9, it has fallen 4.1 percent from a five-month high on June 12.
Last week, the major indexes finished mixed. The Dow fell 1.2 percent; the S&P 500 index slipped 0.3 percent; and the Nasdaq rose 0.6 percent.
There is little by way of economic or corporate news expected Monday. However, this week, which is abbreviated by the Independence Day holiday on Friday, brings key data that will give investors a better sense of where the economy is headed.
Of particular importance is the government's monthly employment report, due Thursday. Though considered a lagging indicator of the country's economic health, the unemployment rate is still one of the most closely watched gauges of the economy. The labor market is intricately tied to many facets of the economy, including consumer spending.
Investors will also get readings on consumer confidence and manufacturing this week.
Analysts say the market will likely be rocky again this week, as investment managers try to square their portfolios ahead of the end of the April-June period on Tuesday.
One point of interest Monday will be the sentencing of Bernard Madoff, the mastermind behind a multibillion dollar Ponzi scheme.
Madoff pleaded guilty in March to securities fraud and other charges. Prosecutors are seeking a 150-year jail sentence, while his lawyers are insisting that 12 years in prison is sufficient punishment.
Bond prices rose, pushing yields lower. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.51 percent from 3.53 percent late Friday.
The dollar was mixed against other major currencies. Gold prices fell.
The gains in commodities lifted energy, industrial and materials stocks. Exxon Mobil Corp. rose $1.45, or 2.1 percent, to $70.50, defense contractor General Dynamics Corp. rose $1.38, or 2.5 percent, to $56.84 and Eastman Chemical Co. rose $1.23, or 3.3 percent, to $38.64.
In other trading, the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 2.38, or 0.5 percent, to 510.84.


Updated : 2021-07-29 21:35 GMT+08:00