Oil prices pulled back today and government economists pulled up new data on second quarter growth, giving Wall Street a double boost that all but assured the stock market will avoid a September setback.
After the latest oil supply data showed U.S. stockpiles are being rebuilt, crude oil futures fell 39 cents a barrel to $49.51 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The economy grew at a relatively healthy rate of 3.3 percent a year in the second quarter, the revised report on the gross domestic product showed. Preliminary data had shown a rate of only 2.8 percent a year growth for the key measure of economic performance.
Lead by rebounding technology stocks, the market moved up steadily for the second day in a row.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed almost 59 points to 10136.24.
The Standard & Poors 500 stock index gained nearly 5 points to 1114.80.
The Nasdaq Stock Market composite index jumped 24 points to 1893.94.
With just one day of trading left this month, the S&P and Nasdaq composite are ahead for September, which by Wall Street folklore ought to bode well for President Bush.
Historically the market's performance for the month has given strong hints at how the election will turn out, and most years the market falls in September. When that happens, incumbents tend to lose, while an up market usually means reelection for a sitting president.
The S&P is the measure that matters in these statistics. It's up 10 points with one day of trading left. The Nasdaq composite has had the strongest month and is ahead by 55 points going into the final trading day. The Dow is down but only by 37 points, a deficit easily made up on a good day on Wall Street.