Biotechnology stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the trading day, driving the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index up by 2.2%. With the gain, the index ended the session at a five-month closing high.
Significant strength also emerged among defense stocks, as reflected by the 1.4% gain posted by the Philadelphia Defense Sector Index.
Commercial real estate stocks also turned in a strong performance, resulting in a 1.4% gain by the Morgan Stanley REIT Index. The gain lifted the index further off the one-month closing low set last Thursday.
Healthcare, internet, and software stocks also saw considerable strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.
The major averages moved roughly sideways in afternoon trading, hovering firmly in positive territory. The Dow climbed 91.26 points or 0.6% to 16,651.80, the Nasdaq jumped 44.87 points or 1% to 4,434.13 and the S&P 500 advanced 12.97 points or 0.7% to 1,946.72.
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