Stocks move higher despite nuke reports
NEW YORK » Stocks rose slightly yesterday, with the Dow Jones industrial average briefly touching a new intraday trading high, after the U.N. Security Council condemned North Korea over its claim of an underground nuclear test.
Wall Street had opened the session lower after North Korea announced it had set off an atomic weapon underground. Reports that OPEC was near announcing its first output cut in two years sent oil prices higher. But stock prices turned mixed by midday and were higher by early afternoon.
"We are heartened by the fact the market seems to be shrugging off a major geopolitical event," said Jim Russell, director of core equity strategy for Fifth-Third Asset Management in Cincinnati, which manages $22 billion.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 7.60, or 0.06 percent, to 11,857.81.
Broader stock indicators ended slightly higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.08, or 0.08 percent, to 1,350.66, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 11.78, or 0.51 percent, to 2,311.77.
The Dow briefly crossed 11,872.94, a new intraday trading high during the session. Last week the Dow Jones industrial average hit new closing records for three straight sessions. Stocks have been rallying since their six-month lows in late July; the Standard & Poor's 500 has rebounded more than 9 percent since its July lows.
Advancing issues led decliners by roughly 3 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume came to 2.00 billion shares, down from 2.56 billion at the same time Friday.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 4.76, or 0.64 percent, to 744.57.
Overseas, South Korea's benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or Kospi, dropped as much as 3.6 percent before closing down 2.4 percent to 1,319.40. Analysts warned that more selling could be ahead in South Korea, depending on the global reaction to the weapon test.
Chinese shares surged to five-year highs in anticipation of a strong stock-market debut by China's biggest lender, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China.
Japan's stock markets were closed yesterday. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.49 percent, Germany's DAX index lost 0.02 percent, and France's CAC-40 rose 0.05 percent.
Equities volume was light and the U.S. bond market was closed for Columbus Day. Ten-year Treasuries closed Friday with a yield of 4.70 percent.
The U.S. dollar was mostly higher against other major currencies. Gold prices rose. A barrel of light crude settled at $59.96, up 20 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.