Stocks edged higher today on very thin post-holiday trading volume, with energy firms seeing a boost from crude-oil prices that broke a 4-day losing streak, MarketWatch reports. The Dow gained 47.07 to close at 8,515.55. The Nasdaq climbed 5.34, settling at 1,530.24, and the S&P 500 added 7.38 to close at 872.80.
A retail report estimated that December sales fell 8% from last year. Oil climbed $2.36, to $37.90 a barrel, after losing 33% for the month. Exxon rose 1.9%. General Motors gained 12.6% after the Fed voted on Christmas Eve to allow its financing arm, GMAC, to transform into a bank holding company in order to access bailout funds.