Wall Street finished mixed Thursday after investors largely shrugged off a jump in oil prices and focused instead on a bullish call on Lehman...
NEW YORK — Wall Street finished mixed Thursday after investors largely shrugged off a jump in oil prices and focused instead on a bullish call on Lehman Brothers Holdings that eased worries about the financial sector.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 12.78 to 11,430.21.
Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, dropped 11 cents to $27.18 Thursday. Boeing, another Dow stock, added 34 cents to $63.55.
Broader stock indicators ended mixed Thursday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 3.18 to 1,277.72, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 8.70 to 2,380.38.
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Stocks closed off their lows of the session after a Ladenburg Thalmann analyst raised his rating on Lehman to “buy,” saying the nation’s fourth-biggest investment bank has become a hostile-takeover candidate. That call helped ease concerns about that company as well as the financial sector, which has been hit by a spike in bad mortgage debt.
The partial recovery in financials as well as gains by energy producers themselves helped contain investors’ anxiety over a jump in oil of more than $6 a barrel.
Prices rose as investors questioned whether tensions with Russia would disrupt energy shipments from the world’s second-largest oil producer.
Often an uptick in oil will fan Wall Street’s fears of inflation.
“It’s remarkable how well the market has held up,” said Quincy Krosby, chief investment strategist for The Hartford, referring to the performance of stocks in the face of a jump in oil.
With the focus on oil and financials, investors looked past most economic readings. The Philadelphia Fed said regional manufacturing activity was negative for the ninth straight month.
The Conference Board’s leading economic indicators report, which is designed to predict economic activity in the next three to six months, showed its largest drop in a year in July.