Stocks Snapped Three-Session Losing Skid, as Investors Rode a Boost in Commodities Prices

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As reported by The Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Cheng and Steven Russolillo, stocks snapped a three-session losing skid, as investors rode a boost in commodities prices to snap up shares of energy, materials and industrial companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 38.45 points, or 0.3%, to finish at 12394.66. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index gained 4.19 points, or 0.3%, to 1320.47, while the Nasdaq Composite added 15.22 points, or 0.6%, to 2761.38.

Leading the way were stocks aligned to global growth. Caterpillar, DuPont and Alcoa gained 1.7%, 1.8% and 1.3%, respectively, as gold, copper and oil all rose. Silver jumped 4.2% to bring its weekly gain to 7.3%, while crude-oil prices moved back into triple-digit territory, finishing at $101.32 a barrel.

Even so, the energy, materials and industrial sectors remain among the worst-performing sectors this month, off by about 5% or more apiece.

Stocks spent much of the morning in negative territory after a weak economic reading and dispiriting results from some companies, but turned positive after credit-ratings company Fitch Ratings said it doesn’t foresee any rating action on German banks as a result of their exposure to Greece. Stocks are looking to reverse a three-day slide that has sent shares down 2%.

Wednesday’s gains chipped away at a three-day slide that has sent shares down 2%. Trading volume remained light on Wednesday, with only 3.5 billion shares changing hands in New York Stock Exchange composite volume.

“We were in an oversold territory,” said Keith Springer, president of Springer Financial Advisors. “Right now there’s not a lot moving the market in either direction. As we get closer to the holiday weekend, more people are going to be stepping away from the market.”

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