Stocks End Holiday Trading Session up Slightly

July 7, 2008 - 8:22 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Wall Street was open for business on Columbus Day, and all three major markets made slight gains during the first trading session of the new week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 26.77 points to 10,081.97; the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 8.79 points to close the day at 1,928.76; and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 2.25 points as it reached 1,124.39.

As with most holiday sessions, trading was light on Monday. Investors shook off most of last week's disappointing jobs report and other weak economic news while awaiting several economic reports, including consumer sentiment and monthly retail sales data, due later this week.

"It's a holiday with the bond market closed, and there's no major news out there. But there is optimism on earnings," Jay Suskind, director of trading at Ryan, Beck & Co., told Fox News.

That optimism was tempered by higher energy costs, particularly oil prices. Crude climbed to $53.80 a barrel, the highest price since oil futures began trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange in 1983.

Among the day's big gainers were Home Depot, Merck and Pfizer, all of which gained about 2 percent. However, Lone Star Technologies lost nearly 19 percent after releasing reports that its third-quarter results would not meet earlier expectations.

Activity is likely to increase greatly on Tuesday, since both Johnson & Johnson and Merrill Lynch are slated to post earnings reports even before the opening bell sounds tomorrow morning.

Trading was mixed overseas on Monday. While Japanese markets were closed for a holiday, Britain's FTSE 100 and France's CAC-40 both lost 0.3 percent. However, Germany's DAX index started the week by gaining 0.1 percent.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.