Stocks Gained, Led by Energy Sector

U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, rebounding after two days of losses as energy shares rose alongside another jump in crude prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 48.38 points, or 0.33%, to 14,824.51. The S&P 500 rose 4.48 points to 1,634.96. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 14.83 points, or 0.41%, to 3,593.35.

Fewer Americans signed contracts in July to buy previously owned homes, a sign that rising mortgage rates are starting to slow momentum in the housing market. The index of pending home sales dropped 1.3 percent, after a 0.4 percent decrease in June, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed.

Syria continued to feed supply concerns in the Middle East on Wednesday, lifting futures prices for oil to a close above $110 a barrel even after the latest U.S. data showed an unexpected climb in the past week’s crude supplies. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for October delivery (NMN:CLV3) added $1.09, or 1%, to settle at $110.10 a barrel.

Williams-Sonoma (WSM) said Wednesday that its fiscal second-quarter profit jumped nearly 13 percent as sales gained. It earned $48.9 million, or 49 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Aug. 4. That is up from $43.4 million, or 43 cents per share, for its second quarter last year. Its total revenue increased 12 percent to $982 million from $874 million.

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