Stocks were up modestly today as investors balanced continued uncertainty over a Detroit bailout and a longtime Wall Street hand’s arrest with cautious optimism that the market may finally have stabilized, the Wall Street Journal reports. Money manager Bernard Madoff was accused today of a $50 billion swindle, but insiders say the scandal has yet to affect the markets. The Dow was up 63.80 points, closing at 8629.05. Nasdaq rose 32.84, to 1,540.72. And the S&P gained 6.14, ending at 879.73.
“People are putting a toe back into the market right now,” one broker said. “It’s a positive development that the market is taking bad news the way it has.” Detroit stocks were split on the bailout news: GM fell 5%, while Ford climbed almost 5%. Oil prices fell $1.70, to $46.28 a barrel, but that’s still a 13.4% gain for the week. And a relatively positive retail report had a differing effect on major stores: Macy’s gained 4%, while both Target and Wal-Mart were off.