Stocks rose for a second day yesterday as lower oil prices outweighed a government report on labor costs that suggested the Federal Reserve won't stop raising interest rates soon. The Nasdaq composite index hit a 41/2-month high.

Benchmarks were held back for most of the day by the higher-than-expected jump in first-quarter labor costs. Stocks rebounded as oil prices fell from their highest since April 25.

The Nasdaq increased 9.94, or 0.5 percent, to 2097.80, its highest level since Jan 18. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index gained 2.02, or 0.2 percent, to 1204.29. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 3.62, to 10,553.49. All three benchmarks rose for the fourth day in five.


Monster Worldwide, owner of the most-used Web site for employment advertising, helped lift the Nasdaq by rallying after selling its Yellow Pages unit to Audax Group, a private equity firm, for $80 million to focus on expansion of the business. Monster gained $2.22, or 8.3 percent, to $29.04, for the second-biggest gain in the S&P 500.

Intel gained 30 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $27.59, for the best performance in the Dow average. The world's largest semiconductor maker said the first cell phone running on one of its processors will go on sale in Europe next week, five years after the company began trying to break into that market.

Boeing rose 58 cents, to $64.38. The world's second-largest maker of commercial aircraft will source parts worth an estimated $600 million to reduce expenses. The agreements with four companies include the first firm contract with Chinese suppliers to make parts for the 787 jetliner.

Limited Brands and J.C. Penney gained after sales exceeded analysts' forecast. Limited Brands gained 81 cents, to $21.59, and J.C. Penney rose 78 cents, to $50.70.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group declined after analysts at Merrill Lynch cut their estimates for second-quarter earnings, citing lower expectations for revenue from businesses including trading. Morgan Stanley fell 79 cents, to $49.28, and Goldman Sachs slipped 97 cents, to $97.67.


New York Stock Exchange composite index rose 15.43, to 7206.08.

American Stock Exchange index rose 7.91, to 1496.68.

Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 1.50, to 625.24.


NYSE: 1.41 billion shares, down slightly from Wednesday. Advancers outnumbered decliners by 3 to 2.

Nasdaq: 1.78 billion shares, down from 1.8 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners by 9 to 8.


Crude oil for July delivery: $53.63, down 97 cents.

Gold for current delivery: $422.70 a troy ounce, up from $415.30 on Wednesday.