Stocks Rise; Dow Closes Just Below 13,000
The U.S. stock market grinded higher for most of the session on Thursday and the major averages closed near their best levels of the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 46 points to 12,985 while the S&P rose nearly 6 points. The widely watched blue-chip index traded in a range between 12,882 and 12,996.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) gained 0.44% to close at $136.63. Volume was light again as only 124 million SPY shares changed hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 163.6 million. The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (NASDAQ: QQQ), which tracks the performance of the Nasdaq 100, gained 0.66% to $63.74. The QQQ Trust ETF has now registered a gain of better than 14% in 2012.
Crude oil continued to soar on Thursday as tensions in the Middle East have been lifting prices on an almost daily basis over the last couple of weeks. NYMEX crude futures added another 2.27% to $108.69 while ICE Brent contracts rose 1.12% to $124.28. The United States Oil Fund ETF (NYSE: USO) gained 1.92% to $41.37 in ETF trading.
Precious metals also moved higher on the day. COMEX gold futures added 0.58% to $1,781.60 while silver futures surged 3.17% to $35.415. The heavily traded SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE: GLD) registered a gain of 0.05% to $173.02.
Long-term Treasuries were unchanged after a rally yesterday. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) lost 0.01% to close at $116.75. The yield on the 10-Year Note was unchanged at 2.00%.
The U.S. Dollar fell on the day, which helped lift stock prices. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, lost 0.77% to $21.90. The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last trading at $1.3335.
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