Stocks Squeeze Out Gains on Apparent Easing of World Tensions

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Stocks squeezed out gains on Monday in light-volume trading as investors looked for signs of easing in geopolitical tensions.The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which soared over 1 percent on Friday, closed unfficially 16 points higher, the S&P 500 rose 5 points and the Nasdaq added 30 points. "Besides seasonal factors of low volume, you have to remember that investors are still wanting to see how the economy is shaping up," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. "Investors are more concerned that the market has not made up its mind on how to handle this monetary policy." Equities received a boost from Stanley Fischer, the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, who said the recoveries in the U.S. and global economies had been disapppointing, indicating the Fed may not imminently tighten its monetary policy. Shares in Europe were boosted on signs that the crisis in Ukraine were abating. In Gaza, Israel and the Palestinians agreed on Sunday to an Egyptian proposal for a new 72-hour ceasefire.

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- Evelyn Cheng,