Stocks finished moderately higher today but well off their highs after a turnaround in oil prices sapped a big rebound on Wall Street. And word Thursday that...
NEW YORK — Stocks finished moderately higher today but well off their highs after a turnaround in oil prices sapped a big rebound on Wall Street.
And word Thursday that Yahoo has called off talks of any deal with Microsoft is giving investors one more reason to rein in the enthusiasm that drove a rally early in the session.
The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day up 57.81 at 12,141.58. The Dow had been up by as much as 185 points earlier in the session. On Wednesday, the stock market fell almost 206 points as oil prices rebounded, fanning concerns that inflation will further pinch consumers and lead central banks to raise interest rates.
Broader stock indicators moved in and out of positive territory in trading Thursday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed up 4.38 at 1,339.87, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 10.34 to 2,404.35.
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Beyond the market’s recurring worries about rising oil prices and inflation, a management shake-up at Lehman Brothers drew fresh attention to troubles in the financial sector. Lehman, which earlier this week said it would report a quarterly loss of $2.8 billion, on Thursday ousted its chief financial officer and chief operating officer. Lehman fell $1.05, or 4.4 percent, to $22.70. But while long-term concerns likely remain about the sector, financial shares were moving higher.
Advancing oil prices, which have touched off many stock-market retreats in recent weeks, upended the market’s recovery and weighed on enthusiasm that followed the Commerce Department’s report that retail sales rose 1 percent in May. The gain marked the biggest improvement in six months, and it offered some investors hope that the government’s 57 million economic-stimulus checks were indeed oiling the economy.
Fears returned that rising energy prices would overshadow the benefits of the windfall for retailers.
Light, sweet crude rose 36 cents to settle at $136.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil prices, which have been volatile lately, fell but then bounced higher Thursday amid concerns about supply disruptions.