Stock indexes edge higher in a quiet, post-holiday trading day; Crude oil price renews decline

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U.S. stocks are posting modest gains after a quiet, post-holiday day of trading.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 23 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 18,053 Friday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose six points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,088. The Nasdaq composite rose 33 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,806.

Biotechnology stocks had some of the biggest gains. Celgene rose 3.4 percent, the most in the S&P 500 index.

Falling oil and natural gas prices helped bolster expectations for stronger consumer spending heading into next year.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell $1.11 to close at $54.73 a barrel in New York. Oil is down by nearly half since June.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.25 percent.

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