Stocks failed to hold on to session highs but made gains today amid a series of dismal, if not unexpected, economic reports. Oil futures ended a four-day rally, falling $0.23 to $48.59 a barrel after briefly topping $50, Marketwatch reports. The Dow added 62.21 points to close at 9,015. The Nasdaq closed up 24.35 points at 1,652, while the S&P 500 gained 7.24 points, settling at 935.
Minutes released from December’s FOMC meeting showed committee members fearful of a long period of economic contraction. Shipments from US factories declined a record 5.3% in November, the Commerce Department reported. And showing that housing has yet to reach a bottom, the National Association of Realtors index of previously owned home sales fell 4% from October to November.