Energy Companies Lead Modest Gains for U.S. Stock Indexes

NEW YORK (AP) -

U.S. stock indexes finished modestly higher Monday, extending the market’s solid gains from a rally last week.

Energy companies notched the biggest gains after the price of U.S. crude oil closed above $59 a barrel for the first time since November. Smaller company stocks fared better than the rest of the market.

Financial, consumer goods and technology stocks accounted for much of the gains. Goldman Sachs rose 2.1 percent, Advance Auto Parts climbed 4.4 percent and Microsoft added 1.4 percent.

Those gains outweighed losses in communications and health care sector companies. Facebook slid 3.3 percent and Boston Scientific dropped 5.6 percent.

Stocks were riding the momentum from last week, when the S&P 500 resumed its torrid start to the year following a brief, five-day stumble. The index is back to within 3.5 percent of its record high, set in September, after clawing back all of its terrifying drop from December.

The S&P 500 gained 10.46 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,832.94. The benchmark index is now up 13 percent for 2019 so far, which is a bigger gain than it’s had in four of the last five full years.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65.23 points, or 0.3 percent, to 25,914.10.

The Nasdaq composite added 25.95 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,714.48. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 10.39 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,563.93.

Major stock indexes in Europe ended mostly higher.

U.S. stocks have had a strong showing this year, with all the major indexes showing a gain of at least 11 percent.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 1 percent to settle at $59.09 a barrel, while Brent crude gained 0.6 percent to close at $67.54 a barrel.

Monday’s upward swing in oil prices came after OPEC canceled a meeting that had been scheduled for next month. The move means that a production cut imposed by the oil cartel in January remains in place, at least until the cartel agrees to meet again.

Energy stocks got a boost from the pickup in oil prices. National Oilwell Varco jumped 6.2 percent, Halliburton gained 3.2 percent and Marathon Petroleum rose 2.7 percent.

Investors also bid up shares in Worldpay after Fidelity National Information Services agreed to buy the payment processor for about $35 billion in stock and cash. Including Worldpay’s debt, Fidelity National valued the deal at $43 billion.

Worldpay’s U.S.-listed shares jumped 10 percent. Fidelity National, also called FIS, slipped 0.7 percent.

Boeing fell further as the investigation continues into two recent deadly crashes of its 737 Max 8 plane model. The stock declined 1.8 percent, following its 10.3 percent loss last week.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.61 percent from 2.59 late Friday.

The dollar fell to 111.41 Japanese yen from 111.48 yen on Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.1338 from $1.1320.

Gold fell 0.1 percent to $1,301.50 an ounce, silver was little changed at $15.32 an ounce and copper added 0.1 percent to $2.91 a pound.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline climbed 1.4 percent to $1.88 a gallon, heating oil added 0.1 percent to $1.97 a gallon and natural gas picked up 2 percent to $2.85 per 1,000 cubic feet.