Insurers drive stocks higher after weak Irene

NEW YORK (AP) ? So much for Irene.

Stocks rose broadly Monday, led by insurance companies, after it became clear that the tropical storm caused far less damage than many had feared.

A consulting firm predicted that the damages paid by insurers would be about $2 billion to $3 billion, less than the $6 billion the industry paid out after Hurricane Isabel struck the region in 2003.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 255 points, or 2.3 percent, to close at 11,539.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 33 points, or 2.8 percent, to 1,210. The Nasdaq composite index rose 82, or 3.3 percent, to 2,562.

More than 10 stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading volume was below average at 3.6 billion shares.