NEW YORK - Easing concerns about debt problems overseas and a multibillion-dollar takeover deal by Exxon Mobil Corp. nudged major stock indexes to new highs for the year.
The market climbed yesterday after news that the Middle Eastern city-state of Abu Dhabi had extended $10 billion to nearby Dubai to help the emirate make debt payments. Analysts have been concerned since last month that a cash crunch in the former boomtown could send ripples through global credit markets.
The market's advance was uneven after Exxon Mobil said it would acquire XTO Energy Inc. The move will help Exxon tap into the growing supply of natural gas in the United States, including Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale formation, and could signal that more deals are afoot in the energy industry. Shares of Exxon closed down $3.14, or 4.3 percent, at $69.69. Shares in XTO closed up $6.37, or 15.4 percent, at $47.86.
A drop in shares of Exxon held the Dow Jones industrial average to more modest gains than other indexes. The Dow added 0.3 percent, while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.7 percent.
Financial stocks rose after Citigroup Inc. said it would repay the $20 billion it received last year from the government's financial rescue program. The news came just days after Bank of America Corp. repaid the $45 billion in bailout money it owed taxpayers. Shares of Citi fell 25 cents to close at $3.70.
The Dow rose 29.55 to 10,501.05, its highest close since Oct. 1, 2008. The S&P 500 index rose 7.70 to 1,114.11, its highest finish since Oct. 2, 2008. The Nasdaq composite index rose 21.79, or 1 percent, to 2,212.10.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 9.42, or 1.6 percent, to 609.79.