Monday stocks rise despite Suez concerns

Midday Dow at 11,866, up 42 points.

NEW YORK (AP) — Energy stocks led indexes higher Monday on the first day of trading since the growing unrest in Egypt sent stocks to their biggest one-day drop in more than three months.
Exxon Mobil Corp. rose 1 percent after it reported that its quarterly profit beat Wall Street’s expectations. Massey Energy Co. jumped 16 percent after Alpha Natural Resources Inc. said that it would buy the coal producer in a $7.1 billion deal. Alpha Natural Resources fell 8 percent.
The Massey deal suggests “maybe coal isn’t dead,” said Kim Caughey Forrest, equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group. It also raises hopes for similar deals in the future, she said.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 29 points, or 0.3 percent, to 11,852 in midday trading. The broader Standard and Poor’s 500 index rose 6, or 0.5 percent, to 1,282. The Nasdaq composite index gained 7, or 0.3 percent, to 2,693.
Eight of the 10 company groups that make up the S&P index rose. Energy companies gained 1.7 percent, the most of any group.
Concerns remained over Egypt’s impact on oil prices, especially if the Suez Canal, a key route for oil tankers and cargo ships, may be closed. Oil prices rose 1.6 percent to $90.75 a barrel.
“The market wants to work its way higher,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist of Standard & Poor’s. “The big worry is the unknown — the cascading effects that could occur.”

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