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Investors shrugged off the continuing rise in oil prices and some other disappointing data on Friday, finishing the week and the month on an upbeat note thanks to a late rally.
News of improving consumer sentiment and manufacturing activity outweighed another spike in oil prices and a second-quarter gross domestic product report that fell short of Wall Street forecasts.
The Dow Jones industrials rose 10.47, or 0.1%, to 10,139.71. The blue-chip index rose 1.7% for the week but was down 2.9% for the month. The Nasdaq rose 6.30, or 0.3%, to 1,887.36 and rose 2% for the week but was down 7.9% for July. The S&P 500 rose 1.29, or 0.1%, to 1,101.72, ending the week with a 1.2% gain. For the month, the S&P fell 3.6%. The InformationWeek 100 rose 1.44, or 0.5%, to end at 287.46 and was up 2.8% for the week. The Nasdaq 100 tracking stock rose 11 cents to $34.89, though volume was more than 20% below average at just over 83 million shares.
The gains came despite the fact that oil set new record highs. September crude futures closed up $1.05 at $43.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after rising as high as $43.85. And prices may continue to rise.
"Oil prices may go up even further before they go down," Keith Keenan, VP of institutional trading at Wall Street Access, told The Associated Press. "I think there's probably a $6 to $8 premium on prices because of terror worries, and I don't see that going away any time soon."
The government also reported that the gross domestic product rose just 3% in the second quarter--Wall Street had been expecting 3.8%-- the slowdown in the economy was more severe than first thought. That led to light volume and a narrow trading range, as a lot of investors stayed on the sidelines.
But some investors were cheered by a report from the University of Michigan that consumer sentiment rose in July--the index reached 96.7, up from 95.6 in June.