Stocks saw a modest uptick this morning, despite a consumer spending report seemingly designed to puncture post-holiday cheer. The Dow rose 40.93 points, while the S&P and Nasdaq added 3.86 and 5.81, respectively. But volume was extremely low, as many Wall Street denizens took the day off, meaning the moves may not be indicative of overall market sentiment, the Wall Street Journal cautions.
Retailers had a very poor holiday season, with sales, excluding automobiles, down 5.5% year-over-year in November and 8% in December through Christmas Eve. But those woes apparently didn’t touch Amazon.com, which called 2008 its “best ever” holiday season and saw a 5.6% boost in its share price. Oil prices rose $1.01 to $36.36 after the UAE announced a cut in crude exports.