Stocks rallied in the first session of 2009, with energy stocks leading advances on a jump in crude oil prices, MarketWatch reports. GM rose after announced changes to GMAC policy expected to give prospective buyers more financing options. In light trading volume, the Dow climbed 258.30 points to close at 9,034.69. The Nasdaq closed up 55.18 to settle at 1,632.21, and the S&P 500 gained 28.55, closing at 931.80.
Traders shrugged off an ISM report that showed US manufacturing activity dropped to a 28-year low last month: "We've been a bit desensitized to all the bad news," explained one analyst. Oil rose $1.74 to $46.14 a barrel; demand is predicted to stay low for a while, but record declines last year have made crude relatively cheap. Energy stocks rose as well, with Massey Energy posting an 18.1% gain, Consol Energy up 13.4%, and Chevron up 4.62%.
- For the week, the Dow rose 6.1%, the Nasdaq gained 6.7%, and the S&P 500 climbed 6.8%.