Stocks climbed in a late-day rally Wednesday, finishing higher despite a new record price for oil and gloomy third-quarter outlooks from several companies. Volume was relatively light as investors awaited the government's jobs creation report at the end of the week.
With rising energy costs threatening to dent consumer spending and corporate profits in the period ahead, oil and jobs have competed for the attention of traders on Wall Street. Many were looking ahead to the Labor Department's September employment report, due Friday. If the number of new jobs created misses expectations, it could be troublesome for stocks, particularly retailers.
Analysts are also watching for positive signs in third-quarter earnings reports, following a series of profit warnings.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 62.24, or 0.6 percent, to 10,239.92, making much of the gain in the final hour of trading. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index gained 7.57, or 0.7 percent, to 1142.05. The Nasdaq composite index advanced 15.53, or 0.8 percent, to 1971.03.
With the third-quarter earnings season just starting, a number of large companies are preparing to issue results, including Costco Wholesale, Marriott International and Alcoa on Thursday, and General Electric on Friday.
"GE's breadth and industrial base will tell a lot about the condition of the economy," said Ned Riley, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors.
Investors were also watching the ramifications of the flu vaccine shortage following the British government's suspension of Chiron's manufacturing license. Chiron, which provides about half of the flu vaccine used in the United States, gained 34 cents, to $38.32, following an 18 percent drop on Tuesday. Henry Schein Inc., one of Chiron's major distributors, rose $2.09, to $61.73, although it lowered its outlook for the rest of the year.
Sirius Satellite Radio gained 52 cents, or 15.5 percent, to $3.87, after shock jock Howard Stern announced he had signed a five-year, multimillion-dollar deal with the company to move his show to the fledgling broadcasting service in 2006. The news pressured Sirius's main rival, XM Satellite Radio Holdings, which fell 48 cents, to $29.
* The New York Stock Exchange composite index rose 38.18, to 6717.43; the American Stock Exchange index rose 3.11, to 1289.79; and the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 5.32, to 592.66.
* Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by 11 to 5 on the NYSE, where trading volume rose slightly from Tuesday, to 1.42 billion shares. On the Nasdaq Stock Market, advancers outnumbered decliners by 5 to 3 and volume totaled 1.91 billion, up from 1.7 billion.
* The price of the Treasury's 10-year note fell $3.75 per $1,000 invested, and its yield rose to 4.22 percent, from 4.18 percent on Tuesday.
* The dollar rose against the Japanese yen and the euro. In late New York trading, a dollar bought 111.41 yen, up from 111.09 late Tuesday, and a euro bought $1.2267, down from $1.2327.
* Light, sweet crude oil for November delivery settled at $52.02, up 93 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
* Gold for current delivery rose to $418.40 a troy ounce, from $418.20 on Tuesday, on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Commodity Exchange.