Wall Street posts gains as oil prices stabilize

Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:44pm EST
 
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By Lewis Krauskopf

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street climbed on Tuesday, buoyed by energy shares as sliding oil prices stabilized and by fairly healthy data on U.S. economic growth, while the dollar fell for a third consecutive session.

Wall Street has been closely correlated with energy prices in recent weeks as crude has extended a 1-1/2-year slide this month and plumbed fresh multi-year lows.

U.S. crude prices CLc1 settled up 0.9 percent to $36.14 a barrel, as traders squared positions ahead of a traditional year-end period of low liquidity. Brent LCOc1 fell 0.4 percent to $36.20 a barrel, after trading higher earlier in the session.

Between the two crude prices, "there is some stability here," said Michael Holland, chairman of Holland & Co in New York.

At this time of year, "so few people are involved in the marketplace that any single thing can have an outsized reaction in the market," Holland said. "The fact that oil is up is a major piece of the puzzle here."

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 165.65 points, or 0.96 percent, to 17,417.27, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 17.82 points, or 0.88 percent, to 2,038.97 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 32.19 points, or 0.65 percent, to 5,001.11.

The S&P energy sector index .SPNY rose 1.2 percent, as did the materials .SPLRCM and industrials .SPLRCI groups.

Noting that those three sectors are among those "that have been blasted the most" this year, Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia, said the stock rally "could be simply an oversold bounce."   Continued...

 
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in the Manhattan borough of New York, December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson