Posted at 11:57 a.m., Monday, October 16, 2006
Stocks rise, Dow edges closer to 12,000
Associated PressNEW YORK Wall Street extended its record-setting advance today, sending the Dow Jones industrial average within a whisper of 12,000 as investors grew more optimistic that corporate profits will remain robust amid a slowing economy.
The blue chip index came within 3 points of reaching the milestone for the first time before falling back minutes before the close; it still managed a record high close, its seventh in two weeks. A deluge of earnings reports, including 12 from Dow component companies slated this week, could make or break the Dow's three-week run at record levels.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow rose 20.09, or 0.17 percent, to 11,980.60. In the final hour of trading, the Dow reached a record trading high of 11,997.25.
Broader stock indicators also advanced. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 3.44, or 0.25 percent, to 1,369.06, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 6.55, or 0.28 percent, to 2,363.84.
Bonds rose, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dipping to 4.79 percent from 4.80 percent on Friday. The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.
The advance also came despite a sharp rise in energy prices, with natural gas having its biggest rise since July. Light, sweet crude closed up $1.39 at $59.56 on the New York Mercantile Exchange..
There was little reaction after St. Louis Federal Reserve President William Poole said in a speech that "draconian" action won't be needed to control the economy if inflation ebbs. Wall Street was also relieved Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke stayed away from the economy in a speech today, and instead spoke on regulatory burdens in efforts to battle terrorist financing.