New York: US stocks rose on Monday, helping the Dow post its fifth straight monthly gain, on hopes that possible fallout from Dubai’s debt woes will be contained.
Shortly before the market closed, Dubai’s largest company said its planned restructuring of some units involved $26 billion in debt, easing some concerns about the size of Dubai’s financial problems.
An index of bank stocks rose more than 3% as investors bet bank exposure to Dubai’s debt problems would be limited.
“It appears the market is coming to the conclusion that Dubai is a small, localized event,” said Charles Lieberman, chief investment officer of Advisors Capital Management, LLC in Paramus, New Jersey.
Retail shares limited the advance as investors worried that the holiday shopping season might have gotten off to a tepid start. Black Friday data suggested weak sales during retailers’ most imporant sales period and underscored concerns about the economy.
Black Friday, or the Friday after the US Thanksgiving Day holiday, is seen as the start of the US holiday shopping period and buyers typically flood the stores that day searching for bargains.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 34.92 points, or 0.34%, to end at 10,344.84. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 4.14 points, or 0.38%, at 1,095.63. The Nasdaq Composite index was up 6.16 points, or 0.29%, at 2,144.60.
For the Dow Jones industrial average, this marked its fifth-straight month of gains, while both the Dow and the S&P 500 had their largest monthly percentage advances since July.
For the month of November, the blue-chip Dow average rose 6.5%, while the S&P 500 gained 5.7% and the Nasdasq added 4.9%.
Bucking the retail share trend on Monday, online retailers’ shares rose after analytics firm comScore said that online spending was the highest it had ever been on Black Friday, with Cyber Monday spending expected to be even stronger.
Amazon.com Inc shares hit an all-time high of $136.08 in intraday trading on Nasdaq on Monday after it said its Kindle electronic book reader posted its best sales yet in the month of November. At the close, the stock was up 3.2% at $135.91.
All in the jeans
After the closing bell, shares of jeans and apparel maker Guess Inc jumped more than 5% to $39.09 as the company posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and forecast holiday season earnings above Wall Street estimates.
During the regular session, major US department stores’ stocks took a beating, with Macy’s down 3.9% at $16.31 and Saks Inc down 6.4% at $6.11, both in New York Stock Exchange trading.
Earlier on Monday, and following last week’s request from Dubai for a standstill agreement on billions of dollars in debt, its government said it will not take responsibility for the debts of the Dubai World conglomerate.
Volume was below average on the NYSE, with about 1.35 billion shares changing hands, under last year’s estimated daily average of 1.49 billion. On the Nasdaq, about 2.02 billion shares traded, below last year’s daily average of 2.28 billion.
Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a ratio of about 18 to 13, while on the Nasdaq, advancing stocks only slightly outnumbered the decliners.