Reports of a pending bankruptcy at GM and extending gains in bank stocks, in lingering reaction to last week's shockingly strong profits at Wells Fargo, headed an otherwise quiet session ahead of earnings. The S&P 500 ended fractionally higher at 858.72.
News of strong car sales out of China raised demand for platinum, up 3% at $1,237, while news of new stimulus out of China raised demand for industrial metals including copper which rose 2% on the day to end at $2.0934/lb. Gold ended just above $890 while oil ended right at $50.
Money moved into the Treasury market where the Fed, as part of its effort to lower lending rates, bought $4.4 billion of 2- to 3-year Treasuries. The Fed will buy 4- to 7-year paper on Tuesday. The Fed has so far bought back $36.5 billion of Treasuries under a $300 billion program announced last month. The dollar eased in the session, ending at $1.3376 against the euro.