Stocks gained on Monday after crude futures eased from record highs, soothing investors’ anxiety about the effect of high energy costs on the economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 34.07, or 0.3 percent, to 10,634.38. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 3.48, or 0.3 percent, to 1,233.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 10.14, or 0.5 percent, to 2,167.04.
Oil prices fell sharply as fears over refinery breakdowns eased after an uneventful weekend. Light, sweet crude for September delivery dropped 59 cents to settle at $66.27 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the contract had peaked at $67.10 before settling at $66.86.
Among local movers, shares of Skechers USA Inc. rose 7.7 percent $17.99 after the Manhattan Beach-based footwear and sneaker maker’s stock rating was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” by analyst Vera Van Ert at Wedbush Morgan Securities. Van Ert raised Skechers’ 12-month share-price target to $20 from $16, noting that talks with industry contacts show the company riding momentum from the first half of the year into 2006.
Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. gained 7.4 percent to $24.92 after the El Segundo-based company announced that it asked the Nasdaq for an additional extension of the deadline to file its results for 2004 and the first quarter of 2005. The retailer had previously disclosed that it expected to restate prior results. Big 5 said it expects to file the results “shortly.” If the extension is not granted, the El Segundo-based company could be delisted.
And Napster Inc. edged up 3.3 percent to $4.75 after it announced a marketing agreement where Bell South will offer memberships to the L.A.-based company’s digital music service in an effort to lure new customers. Customers who sign up for new DSL service can opt to receive a free three-month membership to Napster To Go, Napster’s portable subscription music service.
On the down side, shares of Tag-It Pacific, Inc. plunged 41 percent to $1.37 after the Woodland Hills-based apparel company said it will seek an extension to delay the filing of its second quarter results as it reviews its reserves, and that it expects to report a “significant” operating loss in the quarter. It said the loss is due in part to an increase in reserves for accounts receivable, inventory and net deferred tax asset.