Stocks Closed Higher as Debt Worries Shift to Italy

Stocks closed higher on Monday as investors responded to the latest twists in Europe’s efforts to control its debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 85.15 points, or 0.71%, to 12,068.39. The S&P 500 rose 7.89 points, or 0.63%, to 1,261.12. The Nasdaq Composite rose 9.10 points, or 0.34%, to 2,695.25.

Rival Greek political parties tried on Monday to hammer out a historic power-sharing deal to secure a euro130 billion ($179 billion) rescue package, but markets remained wary and European leaders kept up pressure by holding back a vital bailout loan.

Americans borrowed more in September to buy cars and attend college, but they charged less to their credit cards for a third straight month. Total consumer borrowing rose by $7.4 billion in September, the Federal Reserve said Monday. In August, it had fallen by the most in 16 months.

Barnes & Noble unveiled a $249 Nook Tablet  But it cut the price on its Nook Color, which doesn’t have streaming services, to $199, from $239. It cut the price for its Nook Simple Touch Reader, a black-and-white reader that doesn’t have a browser, to $99 from $139.

Crude-oil futures climbed above $95 a barrel Monday to finish at a more than three-month high. Crude for December delivery advanced $1.26, or 1.3%, to settle at $95.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after touching a high of $95.66 earlier. Prices marked their highest closing level for a most-active contract since July 29.

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