Wall Street climbed in thin trading, with a relief sigh over Hurricane Irene, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 255 points to 11,539. Mark Lasseigne fills you in.


  • U.S. exchanges and regulators were determined to open markets normally in the wake of the storm and flooding.  Volume was the lightest since early July, as many professional traders faced limited transportation options.
  • Boosting confidence today was a European stocks rally, led by Greece, after two of the country’s banks agreed to merge, and boosted hopes that takeovers can help banks weather the sovereign-debt crisis.

  • Insurance stocks gained as analysts concluded the Hurricane Irene wasn't as damaging as they feared. Travelers was one of the blue-chip Dow's strongest performers, rising 5%.
    Other insurance stocks seeing gains included Allstate, rising 5.7%, Genworth, up 8%, and MetLife, which added 5.9%.

  • Crude oil settled higher at $87.27 a barrel.

  • Gold prices lower, closing at $1,792 an ounce.