Stocks closed mostly higher Monday as another jump in the price of crude oil brought energy companies back into favor. Technology stocks were weak.
At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 67.2 points, about 0.4 percent, to nearly 17,074. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 1.8 points, about 0.1 percent, to 2,001.8. The Nasdaq composite gave up 8.8 points, about 0.2 percent, to close at 4,708.3.
CRUDE PRICES: About the same time, the price of U.S. benchmark crude oil was up $2.08, about 5.8 percent, at $38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, the price of the international benchmark, Brent crude, was up $2.02, about 5.2 percent, at $40.74 a barrel.
FED STRUGGLING: Two Federal Reserve governors expressed differing views Monday, indicating conflict over a timetable for rate increases. Federal Reserve vice chairman Stanley Fischer said Monday that inflation may be starting to tick up from too-low levels, a key condition for further interest rate hikes. But a Fed colleague Lael Brainard, expressed uncertainty about whether an improving job market would be enough to bolster inflation, given persistently low oil prices and a strong dollar.
GERMAN FACTORY ORDERS: German factory orders inched down a notch in January on global economic concerns and weak domestic demand. The Economy Ministry said Monday that orders were down 0.1 percent compared with the previous month. Revised figures for December showed a 0.2 percent drop that month following two strong monthly increases.
CHINESE ECONOMICS: Seeking to douse fears about China’s economy, the finance minister said Monday that Beijing can manage its rising debt load as it steps up deficit spending to prevent a slide in growth. The deficit target of 3 percent of gross domestic product, up from last year’s 2.3 percent, is in line with the ruling Communist Party’s long-term reforms, an official said during the annual meeting of China’s legislature.