Stocks Kicked Off the Week with Solid Gains

U.S. stocks closed moderately higher on Monday, as investors tried to look beyond the uncertain timing of a possible interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 125.61 points, or 0.77%, to 16,510.19. The S&P 500 gained 8.94 points, or 0.46%, to 1,966.97. The Nasdaq Composite was up 1.73 points, or 0.04%, to 4,828.96.

Sales of previously owned homes fell in August to mark the first decline in four months. Existing-home sales dropped 4.8% to an annual rate of 5.31 million last month from a slightly revised 5.58 million in July, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.

Macy’s Inc. plans to hire about 85,000 seasonal workers for temporary jobs ahead of the holidays to meet expected higher demand. Specifically, about 12,000 of the 85,000 total seasonal positions will be based in direct-to-consumer fulfillment facilities that support sales generated by the company’s omnichannel business strategy.

Shares of Red Hat Inc. (RHT) rose in Monday’s extended session after the open-source software provider posted stronger-than-expected results. Red Hat said its second-quarter earnings rose to $51.4 million, or 28 cents a share, from $46.8 million, or 25 cents a share, a year earlier.

Pandora Media Inc said on Monday it was pleased that the U.S. Copyright Office agreed that the company’s pact with Merlin Network, a global rights agency for independent musicians, was admissible as a benchmark in royalty proceedings.

Oil prices rallied on Monday, with U.S crude surging more than 4 percent. U.S. crude’s front-month (CLc1) settled up $2, or 4.5 percent, at $46.68 a barrel.

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