WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - Stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Monday but managed to end the day modestly higher. The slim gains on the day extended a recent upward move by the markets, with the Dow and the S&P 500 reaching new record closing highs.
While many of the major sectors ended the day showing only modest moves, significant strength was visible among banking stocks. The Dow Jones Banks Index advanced by 1.3%, reaching its best closing level in two months.
Comerica (CMA) and KeyCorp (KEY) turned in two of the banking sector's best performances, climbing by 3.6% and 2.6%, respectively.
Brokerage stocks also saw notable strength on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index up by 1%. The index also reached a two-month closing high amid strong gains by FXCM Inc. (FXCM) and Piper Jaffray (PJC).
Biotechnology, defense and railroad stocks also saw some strength, while commercial real estate and utilities stocks moved to the downside.
The major averages all closed in positive territory but off their best levels of the day. The Dow inched up 18.82 points or 0.1% to 16,943.10, the Nasdaq rose 14.84 points or 0.3% to 4,336.24 and the S&P 500 edged up 1.83 points or 0.1% to 1,951.27.
Original headline: Major Averages Close Modestly Higher But Well Off Best Levels
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