US stock markets fared well Wednesday despite unseasonable high oil inventories and relatively light trading. The Dow Jones
recovered from a rough morning to gain 43 points on the day and close at 10488. The Standard & Poors 500
gained .5% to close at 1098, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose .6% to close at 2224.
Oil prices reached a five-week low early today as inventory remained unseasonably high, though a report from the
Department of Energy eased fears of even greater stockpiles. Crude oil finished the day at $75.75. The energy
sector of the S&P 500 struggled, with nearly all of its component stocks losing on the day. Retailer Target's
stock declined in early trading before rebounding to close with a 2.7 percent gain, spurred on a second-quarter
earnings report. Investors are keeping a close eye on retailers' stocks with the approach of the holiday season, and
the consumer-discretionary sector led the S&P 500's gains.
Semiconductors had a good day, as the Philadelphia Stock Exchange's Semiconductor Index rose 1.3 percent. For-profit
education stocks recovered today, as well, after suffering declines on Monday and Tuesday. Treasury bonds went up, with
the 10-year treasury note's yield closing at 2.64%. Gold futures also rose.