Markets rebounded today after the price of oil retreated and Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley gave a somewhat optimistic take on the economy and on the prospect of low interest rates for the short- to medium-term future. The major indexes recorded their third-straight month of trading gains.
The Dow advanced 95 points, with 25 of its 30 components higher; the S&P 500 was up 7; and the Nasdaq rose 1. Advancers led decliners by about five to two on the NYSE, and advancers and decliners were nearly in line on the Nasdaq. The prices of Treasuries strengthened. Gold futures rose 60 cents to close at $1,409.90 an ounce. The price of crude oil retreated after Saudi Arabia increased production to make up for the Libyan shortfall. Light sweet crude oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 91 cents to settle at $96.97 a barrel.
In Other Business News:
- Pending home sales fell 2.8% in January, according to the National Association of Realtors. The housing market is still searching for a bottom, and with foreclosures continuing to rise, prospective home buyers might be waiting for prices to fall further.
- A strong 1% rise in personal income in January pushed the U.S. savings rate to 5.8%. However, consumer spending slowed down, rising only 0.2%, a sign that consumers are growing more cautious.