- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wall Street closed Monday with mixed results after a drop in commodity prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 8,764.49, up 1.36 points. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed at 939.14, down 0.95 point, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 1,842.40, down 7.02 points.

The decline in the prices of aluminum, copper and other industrial commodities lowered share prices for basic-material producers and slowed a rally in the commodity markets.

The price of stock in Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold — the largest publicly traded copper producer — was down 1.19 percent.

Freeport-McMoRan fell 68 cents, to $56.48 a share, in afternoon trading.

Stock in Alcoa Inc., the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum, closed at $10.77, down 17 cents.

The price of oil is still at a six-month high. But the price of sweet crude fell 35 cents, to $68.09 a barrel, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Investors returned to the markets this week trying to extend the spring rally in which the S&P; has gained more than 39 percent.

However, analysts are concerned about whether the markets’ recovery from its March 9 low was too fast and too much.

Among their concerns are the struggling housing market, the global economy, rising interest rates and an unemployment rate at a 26-year high.

Major U.S. banks appear to have stabilized, but fears about a depression have shifted to concerns about inflation and the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates, which would slow inflation but make mortgages and other loans more expensive.

Bond prices decreased Monday. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, increased 7 basis points to 3.90 percent.

The dollar increased against the British pound but fell against the Euro. Gold prices also fell.

A host of economic news will be released later this week.

On Tuesday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release wholesale trade inventories for April. The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report on regional economies is due Wednesday, and the Commerce Department on Thursday releases its retail-sales report for May. The Reuters-University of Michigan report on consumer sentiment this month is due Friday.

Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of the country’s economic activity.

The federal government also is scheduled this week to announce which major banks can repay their bailout loans.

General Motors Co., which is in bankruptcy court, and Citigroup Inc., which received billions in government loans, have been removed from the Dow average. They have been replaced by computer networking giant Cisco Systems Inc. and property insurer Travelers Cos., respectively.

In overseas trading, Japan’s Nikkei stock average rose 1 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 0.75 percent, Germany’s DAX index declined 1.42 percent, and France’s CAC-40 dropped 1.48 percent.

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