Wall Street wobbled through an indecisive session yesterday, rallying late in the day and squeezing out a modest gain after the price of...
NEW YORK — Wall Street wobbled through an indecisive session yesterday, rallying late in the day and squeezing out a modest gain after the price of oil fell back from $66 a barrel.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 10.66 at 10,569.89. The Dow climbed nearly 82 points in morning activity before moving in and out of positive territory.
Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, added 19 cents to close at $26.91 a share. Boeing, also a Dow stock, gained 64 cents to $67.79.
Broader stock indicators also ended slightly higher after giving up ground. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 2.02 to 1,221.73, while the Nasdaq composite index advanced 5.85 to 2,141.41.
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Stock-trading volume was light — typical for a late-summer session — which tends to exaggerate the swings in the major indexes.
Crude-oil futures inched up amid news that sabotage cut power to Iraq’s only functioning oil-export terminals early yesterday, temporarily halting shipments. A barrel of light crude settled at $65.45, up 10 cents on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Analysts said that with many traders on vacation and no economic news to guide the market, stocks were particularly vulnerable to concerns about soaring oil costs and the effect of rising interest rates on the economy.
“Higher oil prices, interest rates — that puts downward pressure on price-to-earnings ratios,” said Charles Blood, senior financial-markets analyst at Brown Brothers Harriman.
“The market is still struggling with this, but second-quarter earnings were good enough to offset that drop. That’s why you have this sort of erratic behavior.”