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Stocks end with gains in quiet trading

Specialists Robert Tuccillo, left, and Frank Masiello work

Specialists Robert Tuccillo, left, and Frank Masiello work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Financial markets moved quietly higher Monday as investors decided to step back into a market that was rattled by white-knuckle turbulence last week. It was a rare upward shift for a market that, for the most part, has been moving lower for the past month.

At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 19.26, or 0.12 percent, to 16,399.67. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 17.25 points, or 0.91 percent, at 1,904.01, and the Nasdaq composite added 57.64, or 1.35 percent, to 4,316.07.

Apple closed up 2.14 percent, a gain of $2.09 to $99.76. The company was expected to release its quarterly results after the close. Consumer stocks including Hasbro Inc., Lennar Corp. and Netflix Inc. climbed more than 2 percent.

IBM, the second-biggest stock in the Dow Jones industrial average as of last week, tumbled 7.1 percent a loss of $12.95 to close at $169.10. The company is struggling to transform quickly enough to cope with a shift to cloud computing.

The Dow is what's known as a price-weighted stock index, which means more expensive stocks like IBM tend to have an outsized impact on its movements. Without the effect of IBM's decline, the blue chip index would have been up 102 points.

The quiet trading on Wall Street on Monday came after a wild ride last week, when the Dow moved between triple-digit losses and triple-digit gains. Investors remain concerned that economic weakness in Europe could spread to the U.S. Many investors remain bullish on the U.S. stock market over the long term, especially considering how well the U.S. economy has been doing.

"I think we are having a modest correction, and I don't think this is a new bear market," said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist for private banking at Brown Brothers Harriman.

The calm can be seen in the decline in the VIX, Wall Street's so-called "fear index." The VIX fell 15 percent to 18.7, closer to its recent average of 15. It went as high as 30 last week, but before this market volatility started, the VIX had been trading near record lows.

This is one of the busiest weeks for company earnings. A total of 130 companies in the S&P 500 index will report their quarterly results, including big names like American Express, Cola-Cola and AT&T.

U.S. government bond prices were mostly unchanged Monday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.19 percent.


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