Wall Street edged higher on Monday as retailers' shares rose on data pointing to an improved performance for the key holiday shopping season while rising commodity prices boosted the natural resource sector.
Sales at U.S. retailers rose 3.6 percent for the period from November 1 to Christmas Eve, data from MasterCard Advisors unit SpendingPulse showed. Macy's Inc
This game of chicken that went on between retailers and shoppers, it looks like the retailers won, said Stephen Massocca, managing director at Wedbush Morgan in San Francisco. They held out, there weren't deep discounts prior to Christmas, and people actually came in and bought the merchandise, so that bodes well.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> advanced 17.08 points, or 0.16 percent, to 10,537.18. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 1.27 points, or 0.11 percent, to 1,127.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 6.31 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,292.00.
Volume was expected to be light in another holiday-shortened week. The S&P 500 is up nearly 25 percent for the year, and investors are carefully placing bets to make sure they don't erode profits.
U.S. oil futures rose 1.2 percent, or 95 cents, to $79.00 a barrel, after hitting its highest intraday level since Nov 23, and boosted energy shares. The PHLX Oil Service index <.OSX> rose 0.8 percent.
Airline stocks fell as the United States tightened airline security after a Nigerian man smuggled explosives aboard a transatlantic flight and attempted to blow up the plane.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)