Market Watch: A Fresh Start?


U.S. stocks fluctuated considerably Monday, as investors weighed data, oil prices and other factors. By the end of the day, major indexes rebounded thanks to a 3.5% rise in oil prices.

Both indexes suffered major losses last week to end the abysmal month of January. This is the second straight year that stock indexes have seen declines in the year’s first month.

Standing in the way of a bounce back is the unveiling of President Obama’s nearly-$4 trillion budget, one that is expected to set up some serious battles with Republicans. Obama’s budget will attempt to aid the country’s middle class by imposing higher taxes on wealthier Americans and corporations.

The budget proposes new taxes on international earnings, and also hopes to achieve nearly $2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years. It will be interesting to see how these new rules for businesses are reflected by the markets.

Manufacturing numbers were down Monday, leading to losses after morning gains. But later in the day, investors were encouraged by continued stabilization in oil prices, which closed at their highest level in one month.

Here are the numbers from Monday on Wall Street:

Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,360.85 (+195.90)

NASDAQ: 4,676.69 (+41.45)

S&P 500: 2,020.86 (+25.87)


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