A spike in energy shares offset declines in large-cap technology names, lifing the S&P 500 to a two-month high. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Wall Street closing mostly higher on Monday. A surge in crude prices drove up energy and materials shares. But investors don't seem to trust this rally, notes Stephen Wood of Russell Investments: (SOUNDBITE) STEPHEN WOOD, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, RUSSELL INVESTMENTS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think there's a hesitation in the markets. There is not a clear trend upward in the U.S. economy, for example." Pier 1 Imports stock jumped higher. The importer of home decor predicts quarterly sales will fall, but that decline was smaller than what analysts expected. Valeant Pharmaceuticals set an earnings release date: March 15. That spurred shares higher. Last week, it said it would delay its results and withdrew guidance. DuPont's shares were bid higher. A media report said German rival BASF is weighing a bid for DuPont, which last year agreed to marry Dow Chemical. Shares of steel makers rose after the U.S. Commerce Department launched an anti-dumping probe into stainless steel from China. Among them: AK Steel and Steel Dynamics. The volatile markets taking a toll- on bonuses. According to the New York state comptroller, they fell 9 percent in 2015 to a three-year low, averaging $146,200. In Europe, a drop in bank and utilities stocks pulled shares lower.