Wall St. rebounds but dollar falls and oil touches 11-year low

Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:39pm EST
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By Sinead Carew

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Brent crude oil prices touched their weakest level in more than 11 years on Monday on concerns of global oversupply, while Wall Street ended higher as investors went shopping after two days of sharp declines.

The dollar weakened against a basket of currencies in thin trading. The euro strengthened on apparent short covering following an inconclusive election result in Spain that may increase worries over the country's financial stability.

Wall Street started the abbreviated Christmas holiday week on a positive note, and buying accelerated in the late afternoon following a down week for the three major U.S. indexes. [.N]

"You're seeing some end-of-year bargain hunting here," said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey, adding that financial stocks may seem cheap as banks stand to benefit from rising interest rates. The Federal Reserve last week announced its first rate hike in nearly a decade.

Investors may also feel better about the holiday shopping season after observing weekend shopping, Meckler said.

Even so, some investors were losing hope for the typical end-of year rally that turns stocks positive for December.

"Maybe some believe you're going to see a Santa Clause rally but that window is closing awful fast," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth in New York.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 123.07 points, or 0.72 percent, to 17,251.62, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 15.6 points, or 0.78 percent, to 2,021.15, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 45.84 points, or 0.93 percent, to 4,968.92.   Continued...

A gas nozzle is used to pump petrol at a station in New York February 22, 2011. 
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton