Top News America
Monday, December 14, 2009
NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–U.S. stocks opened higher Monday as investors were relieved to see Abu Dhabi’s $10 billion rescue of Dubai, while acquisition plans announced by Exxon Mobil helped lift the energy sector.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 26 points, or 0.3%, to 10497, in early trading. Boeing was its best-performing component, up 1.5%. Alcoa was also strong, up 1.2% as metals futures climbed.
Exxon Mobil kept the measure’s gains in check. It tumbled 3% after having announced a $31 billion all-stock acquisition of XTO Energy, boosting the oil giant’s presence in the natural-gas industry.
However, XTO–which is not a Dow component–jumped 16%, as the deal represents a 25% premium to its Friday closing price. A number of other energy stocks also moved higher as speculation rose about other potential acquisition candidates.
The gains in the energy sector came despite declines in crude-oil futures. In other markets, the dollar was lower against both the euro and the yen. Gold futures moved higher. Treasurys also rose, with the 10-year note recently up 1/8 to move 3.535%.
Across other stock measures, the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.5%. The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 0.5%, led by its energy sector. Its materials sector was also particularly strong. Financial stocks made up the only S&P 500 sector in the red.
Monday’s stock gains come after Abu Dhabi loaned Dubai the funds necessary to pay off a bond as well as give it breathing space to renegotiate debts on Dubai World. While the U.S. was expected to have little direct exposure to Dubai World, concerns were rising in recent weeks about any indirect fallout.
Among stocks in focus Monday, Citigroup fell 4.1%. The banking giant reached an agreement with the U.S. Treasury to repay $20 billion of government aid. The New York bank will issue $20.5 billion in securities to pay for the deal, and could issue another $3 billion worth of notes in the first quarter of 2010.
Sun Microsystems jumped 9.3% after Oracle said it’s had constructive discussions with the European Commission over approval of its deal to buy Sun. Oracle edged up 1.4%.