Stocks recover from mostly down session
NEW YORK » Wall Street recovered from a mostly down session yesterday, eking out a gain as investors brushed off another slide in Chinese stocks.
The market had little in the way of corporate or economic news to give it direction, but while it was in negative territory for much of the day, in the end it shook off an 8.3 percent slide in the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index.
The Chinese index had its biggest one-day drop since the Feb. 27 plunge that set off a brief global market selloff as the Chinese government attempts to cool the country's market boom.
"I think you're seeing a combination of investors wanting to take some profit on a Monday morning, and some fear because of what happened in China," said Ryan Detrick, a senior technical strategist for Schaffer's Investment Research. "There's really no major drivers in the market, so we're really just meandering along."
The Dow rose 8.21, or 0.06 percent, to 13,676.32.
Broader stock indicators were also narrowly higher. The S&P 500 index rose 2.84, or 0.18 percent, to 1,539.18, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 4.37, or 0.17 percent, to 2,618.29.
The Dow and S&P again snagged record closes yesterday, and the S&P moved closer to its trading high of 1,552.87, set in March 2000. Last week, the Dow posted a 1.19 percent gain; the S&P 500 index rose 1.36 percent; and the Nasdaq composite index added 2.22 percent.
The bond market moved higher, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury falling to 4.93 percent from 4.96 percent late Friday.
The U.S. Commerce Department reported yesterday that orders to U.S. factories were weaker than expected in April. It showed 0.3 percent in manufacturing growth in April, and economists expected a rise of 0.7 percent after a 3.1 percent jump in March.
The dollar slipped against other major currencies, while gold prices also fell.
Oil prices rose after a Nigerian militant group announced a one-month cease-fire, and a U.S. gasoline pipeline was restarted. A barrel of light sweet crude rose $1.13 to $66.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by about 4 to 3 on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume came to 2.69 billion shares, compared to 2.85 billion on Friday.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies was up 1.68, or 0.20 percent, at 855.09.
Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at Spencer Clarke, said the near term will be dominated by higher energy prices and bond yields -- two catalysts that could cause the equities market to pull back. He believes there's complacency among investors, and that the market will need a correction before resuming an advance later in the summer.
In corporate news, Smartphone maker Palm Inc. said yesterday it got $325 million from private equity firm Elevation Partners and announced a shakeup on its board. Palm spiked $1.48, or 9.2 percent, to $17.57.
Publisher Dow Jones & Co. fell $1.04 to $60.16 as the owner of The Wall Street Journal met with Rupert Murdoch about the possibility of an acquisition. Murdoch's News Corp. has offered $5 billion for the company.