Wall Street rebounded in light post-holiday trading Tuesday as lower oil prices encouraged investors to add to their portfolios.
NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street rebounded in light post-holiday trading Tuesday as lower oil prices encouraged investors to add to their portfolios in the final days of the year.
Buyers came into the market after major indexes retreated last week with three straight down sessions. However, stocks were range-bound because of thin volume after the Christmas holiday and in the absence of major economic reports.
Oil’s slide lent support for the stock markets as investors brushed off concerns about Iran’s reaction to United Nation’s sanctions over its nuclear program. With crude hovering near $61 a barrel, the prospect of lower gasoline prices was seen propping up consumer spending.
That was welcome news for retailers after reports showed holiday shopping might have been weaker than expected. Early projections of spending between Thanksgiving and Christmas showed a disappointing 6.6 percent rise over 2005, according to MasterCard. Sales during the same period last year had climbed 8.7 percent.
Trading volume is expected to remain light this week as many investors are on vacation, which tends to skew price moves and make them appear more dramatic than they perhaps are. European stock markets remain closed for extended Christmas holidays, while stock prices in Tokyo hit a seven-month high.
“We’re seeing lower oil prices being a minor catalyst for the market,” said Joe Ranieri, managing director of equity trading for Canaccord Adams. “Other than that, you’re just seeing a quiet week with added volatility.”
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 64.41, or 0.52 percent, to 12,407.63.
Broader stock indicators were also higher. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 6.14, or 0.44 percent, at 1,416.90, and the Nasdaq composite index was up 12.33, or 0.51 percent, at 2,413.51.