Stocks eked out small gains after two days of big losses as surging oil pulled back from a new record of $135 per barrel to $131.79, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Dow rose 24.43, closing at 12,625.62, while the Nasdaq climbed 16.31 to settle at 2,464,58. The S&P 500 rose 3.64, finishing the session at 1,384.35.
“It continues to be a 'one-story' market," in the words of one analyst, as investors start thinking about the long-term implications of oil selling at current, or higher, prices. Nonetheless, the modest gains made by indices were probably helped by a Labor Department report that said initial jobless claims fell 9,000 from last week, to 365,000.