- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 13, 2009

NEW YORK | Investors waiting for earnings reports to flow in traded cautiously Monday, giving up early gains and leaving the market narrowly mixed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a new 2009 trading high, edging closer to 10,000.

Volume was light because of the Columbus Day holiday. Bond markets were closed, and there were no economic reports.

A weaker dollar and a spike in oil prices above $73 drove energy and materials prices higher, but weakness in technology and industrial shares held the market back. Stocks got an early boost from a better-than-expected profit report from Dutch company Royal Philips Electronics. That sent Britain’s leading stock indicator to its highest level in a year.

Investors looked ahead to the flurry of earnings due this week from key companies including Intel Corp., Johnson & Johnson, IBM Corp. and General Electric Co. Top U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. will issue reports as well.

The Dow traded as high as 9,931, just 69 points away from 10,000, a level not seen in a year. The index rose for the third day in a row and has gained in five out of the last six sessions.

The Dow closed up 20.86, or 0.2 percent, at 9,885.80. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 4.70, or 0.4 percent, to 1,076.19. Both indexes had their highest close in a year.

The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.14, or 0.01 percent, to 2,139.14.

The dollar has fallen steadily over the past few months as investors more upbeat on the economy take money out of traditional safe-haven assets and put it to work in stocks. The ICE Futures U.S. dollar index, which tracks the dollar against other major currencies, is down about 14 percent since early March. The S&P; 500 index is up 59 percent since then.

Analysts say companies’ earnings reports will determine where the market heads next. If results exceed expectations and show companies are making money through sales and not just cost-cutting, stocks could continue their push higher.

Banks were among the big gainers Monday as investors awaited their earnings. Wells Fargo & Co. rose $1.07, or 3.7 percent, to $30.28, while Citigroup Inc. was up 14 cents, or 3 percent, at $4.77.

In other trading, the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 1.11 to 613.81.

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