NEW YORK (AP) -- The stock market rose sharply in the first trading of the New Year after investors returning from the holiday found encouraging economic reports from the United States and around the world. The Dow industrials rose 180 points, or 1.4 percent, to 12,397 -- its highest close in more than five months. The S&P 500 index finished up almost 20 points, while the Nasdaq rose 44 points.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil prices soared today as tensions grew over key Persian Gulf oil shipments. Benchmark crude jumped by $4.13 to end the day at $102.96 per barrel in New York. Brent crude rose by $4.75 to finish at $112.13 per barrel in London. UNDATED (AP) -- It didn't take commodities long to shake the post-holiday doldrums. Commodity prices jumped across the board after positive economic news from the United States, China and other countries helped ease, at least for now, concerns about Europe. Silver ended up 5.9 percent, gold was up 2.2 percent and corn rose nearly 2 percent.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Sears Holdings Corp.'s CEO says he's looking to former Brookstone head Ron Boire as its new chief merchandising officer to help meld the store experience with online and mobile shopping. Boire will lead merchandising and retailer stores for both the Sears and Kmart brands starting next week.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a major shift, the Federal Reserve will start updating the public four times a year on how long it plans to keep short-term interest rates at record lows. Word of the change is contained in the minutes of the Fed's December policy meeting. The first forecast will be included in the central bank's economic projections after its meeting on Jan. 24-25.