Stocks kept climbing today, giving Wall Street its third winning week in a row and boosting hope that the rally will continue.
With no economic reports coming out today and only a couple of smaller companies posting third quarter profits, traders took their cues from the price of oil--which slipped again.
Crude oil prices were off 5 percent this week. Down to $57.53 a barrel in today's trading, crude is the cheapest it's been since July.
Worries that energy costs are biting into household budgets were relieved by this week's decline in prices and by the strong profits reported today by Kohl's Corp., the department store chain.
Besides Kohl's, today's other big winner was Monsanto Co., the chemical company that also is a leader in generically-modified crops. Monsanto not only delivered better than expected earnings, but also raised its forecast for next year, saying it expects to profit from growing sales of seeds.
The Dow Jones industrial average benefited from a rebound in the shares of General Motors, whose stock was battered this week by the disclosure that GM will have to restate some of its previously-issued financial reports and will show even bigger losses than first reported.
The Dow climbed 46 points to 10,686.04. At that level, the Dow is down less than 100 points since the end of last year. Some analysts are predicting that next week the Dow will finally break into positive territory for the year.
Other indexes turned positive earlier in the week and continued to climb today. The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index closed up 4 points at 1,234.72. The Nasdaq Stock Market composite index gained 6 points to 2,202.47.