Energy, Auto Sales Boost Stocks

NEW YORK (AP) -- A rally in energy companies helped push the U.S. stock market higher for a second straight day on Tuesday. Investors also worked through corporate news and prepared for key U.S. economic data later this week.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 89.39 points, or 0.5 percent, to 17,918.15. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 5.74 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,109.79 and the Nasdaq composite rose 17.98 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,145.13.

Oil and gas companies, one of the most battered parts of the market, saw another wave of investor interest. The energy sector of the S&P 500 rallied 2.5 percent. The advance was mostly on the back of a jump in the price of oil, which climbed 4 percent.

Drilling and exploration companies were the biggest benefactors. Pioneer Natural Resources, Diamond Offshore and Anadarko Petroleum all rose more than 5 percent. Oil conglomerates Exxon Mobil and Chevron rose 2 percent and 3 percent respectively.

Investors found some good news in the monthly sales reports from the automakers. General Motors, Ford and others reported double-digit increases in sales from a year earlier, and some automakers are on pace to break annual sales records.

“Even with the market volatility this summer, there aren’t the signs that consumers are hunkering down,” said David Kelly, chief global strategist at JP Morgan Funds. “This could be good news heading into the holidays.”

GM rose 21 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $35.78 and Ford rose six cents, or 0.4 percent, to $14.81.

In other company news, shares of King Digital Entertainment, the publisher of the Candy Crush Saga video game, jumped $2.31, or 15 percent, to $17.85 after Activision Blizzard announced it would buy the company for $5.9 billion. Activision Blizzard rose $1.25, or 3.6 percent, to $35.82.

Investors will be turning to economic data out later this week. The October jobs report comes out on Friday. If the survey comes in strong, it would raise market expectations that the Fed will raise interest rates at their December meeting. Economists surveyed by FactSet expect U.S. employers added 185,000 jobs in October and that the unemployment rate remained steady at 5.1 percent

U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.21 percent from 2.17 percent late Monday. In currencies, the euro fell to $1.0963 from $1.1013 and the dollar rose to 120.99 yen from 120.76 yen.

In the metals market, gold fell $21.80, or 2 percent, to $1,114.10 an ounce, silver fell 17 cents, or 1 percent, to $15.24 an ounce and copper rose a penny to $2.33 a pound.

Benchmark U.S. crude added $1.76, or 3.8 percent, to close at $47.90 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, rose $1.75, or 3.6 percent, to $50.54 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline jumped seven cents to $1.446 a gallon in New York, heating oil rose 5.9 cents to $1.566 a gallon and natural gas fell 0.3 cents to $2.253 per 1,000 cubic feet.

(BAS)