Business

Stocks soar on rising oil prices

A jump in oil sent investors rushing to put money into the stock market in the final days of the second quarter.

Energy, industrial and materials stocks pulled the market higher in light trading Monday as investors raced to keep up with the gains in oil.

Crude rose $2.33 to settle at $71.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after China said it would boost oil reserves and Nigerian militants partly shut down an offshore oil platform.

With the quarter's end coming up on today some money managers were buying stocks bolster their returns. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 16.2 percent since the start of the April-June quarter.

Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Banyan Partners LLC in New York, said some of the day's gains reflected "window-dressing" of portfolios and that the gains in energy helped lift the overall market.

With some of the gains attributable to end-of-the-quarter technical maneuvering by portfolio managers, analysts cautioned against seeing the upswing as a sign of conviction among investors that it was time to move into the market ahead of an economic bounce. Stocks seesawed in the early going but jumped after oil gained.

After running the market up more than 30 percent since March on a litany of "less bad" economic data, investors have become more cautious about the pace of the economy's recovery in recent weeks and are looking for more concrete signs of growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 90.99, or 1.1 percent, to 8,529.38. The S&P 500 index rose 8.33, or 0.9 percent, to 927.23, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 5.84, or 0.3 percent, to 1,844.06. Stocks ended last week mixed.

There was little economic news Monday but the week, which is abbreviated by the Independence Day holiday on Friday, brings key data that will give investors a better sense of where the economy is headed.

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