Wall St rises as investors dismiss Middle East fears

US stocks advanced yesterday as materials shares rose, but rising commodities prices due to turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa could keep rallies modest.

The market’s favoured indicator of anxiety, the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index or VIX, shows investor worry over unsettled world situations has been tempered for the moment. But the lack of volume and moderate gains suggest optimism is limited in scope.

“Nobody really wants to step in front, they are waiting to see, and obviously the selling was a little overdone on the Japan situation,” said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments in Lisle, Illinois.

“There is nothing else out there right now to kind of provide that kick up.”

About 7.01bn shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq -- below the daily average of 8.07bn. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 67.39 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 12,086.02. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 3.77 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 1,297.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 14.43 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 2,698.30.