A late-afternoon burst of buying helped stock indexes close mostly higher on Wall Street Monday, snapping a five-day losing streak for the S&P 500.
The benchmark index shook off an afternoon slump to finish 0.2% higher. Banks, energy companies and communication stocks accounted for much of the index’s broad gains. Health care and utilities stocks fell. The S&P 500 was coming off its biggest weekly drop since June.
The price of U.S. crude oil rose 1% and crossed back above $70. It hasn’t closed above that level since early August. Natural gas prices jumped 5.9% and are at their highest levels since the middle of 2014. The solid gains helped lift energy stocks, including a 2.6% rise for Exxon Mobil and a 7.2% jump for Marathon Oil.
Stocks have traded in a narrow range for several weeks as most investors are sitting on the sidelines waiting to get a fuller understanding of where the economy is headed and how the pandemic is impacting corporations.
“Interestingly it’s all still within this narrow band that we’ve been seeing in the markets” said Greg Bassuk, CEO of Axs Investments. “Investors are still looking to hang their hats on more outsized or more significant news relating to the economic recovery.”