Stocks end higher despite dismal new employment data

The Dow Jones Industrial Average reversed a mid-day swoon to finish a bit higher today, climbing 32.50 points, or one half of 1 percent, to close at 6,627. Energy stocks such as ExxonMobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) rose thanks to higher oil prices and General Electric (GE), battered all week by doubts about its financial health, recorded modest gains.

Stocks swung wildly, starting the trading session up considerably despite an ugly jobs report before sinking. They then surged about half an hour before the closing bell. Among the big winners were Rohm & Hass (ROH) and Genentech (DNA), both of which climbed after good news broke about long-stalled mergers. But General Motors (GM) lost again, falling sharply as fears over bankruptcy loomed.

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