U.S. Stocks Quietly Move Higher


The U.S. stock market moved quietly higher Monday as investors decided to step back into a market that was rattled by white-knuckle turbulence last week.

It was a rare move upward for a market that, for the most part, has been moving lower for the past month.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 17.26 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,904.02 and the Nasdaq composite gained 57.64 points, or 1.4 percent, to 4,316.07.

The Dow Jones industrial average did not fare as well, and wound up essentially flat for the day. The 30-stock index rose 19.26 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,399.67. The main reason the Dow did not perform as well as the other two indexes was IBM.

IBM fell $12.95, or 7 percent, to $169.10 after the company reported earnings that missed Wall Street’s expectations. The company also missed on revenue and warned that it may not meet its profit goals for the foreseeable future. IBM was the biggest decliner in both the Dow and in the S&P 500.

The calm can be seen in the decline in the VIX, Wall Street’s so-called “fear index.” The VIX fell 15 percent to 18.7, closer to its recent average of 15. It went as high as 30 last week, but before this market volatility started, the VIX had been trading near record lows.

Many market watchers expected more volatile trading in the days and weeks to come. The S&P 500 is down just 5.3 percent from its mid-September high, even with the concerns about Europe and Asia. Also the market has had four straight weeks of declines.

This is one of the busiest weeks for company earnings. A total of 130 companies in the S&P 500 index will report their quarterly results, including big names like American Express, Cola-Cola and AT&T.

One big name to report after Monday’s closing bell was Apple. The consumer electronics giant reported a profit of $1.42 a share, beating the $1.30 share expected by analysts. Sales also topped forecasts. Apple’s stock rose $1.14, or 1 percent, to $100.95 in after-market trading.

U.S. government bond prices were mostly unchanged Monday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.19 percent.

One symptom of the concerns over the global economy has been the sharp fall in oil prices in recent weeks. The price of oil fell slightly Monday, remaining near its lowest level since June of 2012. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 4 cents to close at $82.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 76 cents to close at $85.40 on the ICE Futures exchange in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 3.3 cents to close at $2.200 a gallon.

Gold rose $5.70 to $1,244.70 an ounce. Silver rose two cents to $17.35 an ounce and copper fell two cents to $2.99 a pound.