Markets Up as Oil Continues to Slide

Oil continued its late summer retreat from record price levels Wednesday, falling nearly 4 percent to its lowest price levels in two weeks.

The price drop allowed for another rally on Wall Street, one that while more robust than previous days still was being downplayed by many observers because of low volumes typical for the last two weeks before the unofficial end of summer.

Still, the Dow managed to tack on 83.11 to climb to 10,181.74. The Nasdaq gained 23.83 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 1,860.72, while the S&P 500 gained 8.77 points to 1,104.96.

The easing of oil prices will likely let investors focus on a new batch of economic data and other factors, such as next week’s Republican National Convention, which is expected to keep trading volumes on Wall Street low and will officially kick off the home stretch of the presidential campaign.

This week’s batch of economic data include weak numbers for sales of both new and existing homes, both of which were down sharply in July. New home sales fell 6.4 percent last month to the lowest level of the year.

That data came after a report said sales of existing homes fell nearly 3 percent in July.

Orders for durable goods, meanwhile, rose 1.7 percent in July, but much of the gain was attributed to orders for passenger aircraft.

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