Stocks Closed Up on Homebuilder Data

U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday after the release of positive homebuilder data as investors digested weak manufacturing data and falling oil prices while eyeing the release of the Federal Reserve’s minutes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 67.78 points, or 0.39%, to 17,545.18. The S&P 500 gained 10.90 points, or 0.52%, to 2,102.44. ┬áThe Nasdaq Composite was up 43.46 points, or 0.86%, to 5,091.70.

Home-builder confidence rose in August to the highest level in nearly a decade, a trade group said Monday. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index rose 1 point to 61, marking the highest level since Nov. 2005.

Manufacturing activity in New York state contracted in August at the fastest pace since the Great Recession, pulled down by sharp declines in new orders and shipments. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Monday that its Empire State manufacturing index plunged to minus 14.9 from a positive reading of 3.9 in July. That is the lowest level since April 2009.

Crude oil prices fell Monday, deepening a long slide as traders expect US production will remain strong, adding to abundant global supplies. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for September delivery closed at $41.87 a barrel, down 63 cents from Friday’s settlement.

The federal government on Monday gave Royal Dutch Shell the final permit it needs to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska’s northwest coast for the first time in more than two decades.

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